We Are Here
This crisis is having a deep and immediate impact on all of our lives. AVA is shifting our work to accommodate this new reality. We are moving our staff to teleworking as much as possible, and attempting to maintain safe distances when in-person contact is absolutely necessary. We are holding group violence prevention groups and our support groups for homicide survivors and child victims on web conferencing platforms.
How We Are Responding
Working closely with school staff, particularly school social workers, to stay in touch with youth and their parents/guardians.
Discussing communication and meeting tools with the victims we serve to get feedback about platforms that are user-friendly, and assisting them with using tablets, smartphones, and software.
Adjusting our program schedules to accommodate shifts in state and local guidelines and allowing for periods of adjustment.
Responding to evolving needs and connecting victims with a wide network of partners in the Atlanta community who provide emergency food, housing, financial assistance, and supplies.
Planning to reallocate funds from in-person needs such as travel, field trips, refreshments, and supplies to accommodate victims’ needs for technology, wireless access, gift cards as incentives for participation, and additional time for program staff and therapists to victims via phone and web conferences.
AVA staff are at the frontlines
We respond to people who experience trauma from crime and violence. Victimization and crime are not stopping during this public health crisis. In fact, we are seeing an uptick in calls due to violence within homes and neighborhoods. As tensions rise due to lockdowns and economic hardships we expect this trend will continue. Our staff must and will continue to respond to victims' needs to ensure their safety from harm.
On a conference call we held on April 16, one of our school partner’s social workers said to us, “People need AVA’s programs more than ever. They are isolated from their peers and experiencing cumulative trauma.” We have heard from parents/guardians that are eager to have a healthy, structured activity for their children. Clients are eager to re-start programming to connect with others, have a safe place to process grief, and receive support for their healing. AVA remains firmly committed to providing services for victims of crime, healing trauma, and preventing violence in our communities. We will continue to follow CDC guidelines and adapt our service delivery to maintain client and staff safety and well-being.