Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner is pleased to announce that the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office (DAO) Crisis Assistance, Response, and Engagement for Survivors (CARES) program, which was launched in October of 2018, has been awarded an additional $1.2 million dollars over the next three years to continue providing vitally important compassionate support and care for co-victims of homicide.
"Since the onset of the pandemic, our amazing CARES team has continued to do the hard and important work of serving Philadelphians who have had a loved one taken from them by violence," said DA Krasner. "This important Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency funding will enable our team to continue providing children and families with supports that are so critical in the immediate aftermath of a homicide. My office is grateful to Rev. Myra Maxwell and her Peer Crisis Responders for the assistance they've provided since 2018 and through this challenging pandemic, as well as for their dedication to homicide co-victims across the city."
"The CARES team is composed of co-victims of homicide, which makes the work that we do unique and enables us to meet the needs of survivors in a way few other crisis response efforts do," CARES program director Rev. Myra Maxwell said. "One may never be able to offer words that ease the pain of traumatic grief, but the presence of a person with a true heart of compassion speaks volumes. Presence may often times be our greatest support."
In 2020 alone, 14 CARES Peer Crisis Responders, themselves co-victims of fatal violence, assisted over 800 survivors to provide trauma-informed peer support and connected them to counseling and advocacy services for children and families. Responders also help survivors understand police protocols, provide court support at preliminary hearings when an arrest is made, assist in securing translation services for non-English speakers, provide information about the Victims Compensation Assistance Program, and much more. Members of the public who have questions or need assistance after a homicide can call the CARES office line: 215-686-8019.