BRONZEVILLE — Victims of violence in Bronzeville will get new support in coping with grief with the announcement Thursday of the Bronzeville Dream Center.
“It is said that hurting people tend to hurt people and we hope to limit some of that,” said the Rev. Chris Harris, whose Bright Start Church, 735 E. 44th St., will host the new center devoted to treating traumatic stress.
The center, a collaborative effort among Bronzeville clergy, the United Way, the University of Chicago Medical Center and Northwestern Memorial Hospital, will use techniques developed in Israel to help people recover from the trauma of seeing a loved one die a violent death.
“This will not solve the problem, but we are absolutely confident this will start to help heal the people in this community,” Harris said.
The University of Chicago and Northwestern have committed $250,000 to get the center going and to measure the new center’s effectiveness in treating post-traumatic stress disorder.
Private donors have also committed another $10,000 for the center, Harris said.
The Rev. David Swanson said the plan is to get organizers trained in youth delinquency and substance abuse counseling to react to a violent event.
“Imagine two years from now when we have an army of first responders,” Swanson said.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city will put its support behind the project.
“We have a responsibility to deal with both the physical and emotional injuries and make sure no parent is left alone in their most vulnerable moment,” Emanuel said.
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