As violence escalates, N.O. offering victim's assistance programs

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wwltv.com

Posted on June 5, 2012 at 10:19 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 10:05 AM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS -- A family is mourning the loss of a 5-year-old girl. It has become an all too familiar scenario for many families across New Orleans.

On Tuesday morning morning, family, friends and sympathizers gathered at New Hope Baptist Church on Lasalle Street for Briana Allen's funeral service.

Last week's Central City shooting also claimed the life of a mother and left three people injured.

"I wish it would really stop," said Tara Thomas, a friend of the Allen family.

A week ago along Simon Bolivar Avenue, detectives combed the scene of a quintuple deadly shooting. The police tape is gone but the scars remain.

"It is expected after a shooting or a violent event you're going to feel sad, anxious, concerned," said Dr. Karen DeSalvo, the city of New Orleans health commissioner.

DeSalvo said the city is doing its part to help victims of violent crime. The city's latest initiative is called Rapid Engagement of Support in the Event of Trauma, or RESET.

"So the RESET teams typically go out for about two days in a row. They're out on the street usually within 48 hours after an event. They will comb in the later afternoon and knock on doors to see what folks need," said DeSalvo.

In addition, DeSalvo said the city's cease-fire program and outreach support to schools directly impacted by violent crime are other resources available to the community.

The Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office says it has eight counselors on staff to help families with short-term grief counseling. The district attorney's office says if victims need more support, they'll be referred to other agencies and organizations that can help.

"The community really expresses concerns when children, innocent kids, are killed in this city. I think as a community we need to do more," said Tamara Jackson in response to Briana Allen's death.

Jackson is the executive director of "Silence is Violence," which assists victims of violent crime with counseling services. The organization also connects the community with resources offered by the NOPD, district attorney's office and the city.

But, Jackson said more local and more accessible resources are needed across the city for victims of violent crime.

"There is always need for more resources to help the community. Right now, it appears that with the increase with homicide of course there aren't enough agencies to really approach the situation," added Jackson.

The New Orleans Health Department also has a free resource guide with contact information for families and individuals needing support. Click here for a copy.  

 

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