The CARE Coalition is expanding to help neighborhoods that experience a traumatic event.
Through a $175,000 grant approved May 25 by Columbus City Council, CARE, which is a Columbus Public Health initiative, was broadened with a focus on the Hilltop and Linden neighborhoods.
CARE is an acronym for community, action, resistance and empowerment.
The pilot expansion is expected to start July 1 and run through Dec. 31, 2018.
The money will pay for a program manager and social worker for the coalition, two outreach workers -- one in each community -- and a part-time office assistant, said Jose Rodriguez, spokesman for Columbus Public Health, which is leading the program.
"When there's trauma in the community, it can affect and impact the residents in different ways," Rodriguez said.
The coalition was formed after a Hilltop couple and their 7-year-old boy were killed. Their 12-year-old daughter was injured in the shooting. Barry Kirk, a neighbor, was charged in the murders.
Stunned residents took to the streets to console each other.
"After that happened, we heard from the community that there was some need for more support," said Marian Stuckey, director of neighborhood social work for Columbus Public Health.
Representatives of Netcare Access, a crisis mental-health agency, arrive on an emergency scene with first responders. The coalition then responds within 48 hours of a traumatic event.
"We're activated by a call-in process," Stuckey said.
CARE provides grief counseling, food or pantry access and other social services, Stuckey said.
Trauma comes in many forms, such as a vehicle-related death, fires and drug overdoses, she said.
"Trauma is a large umbrella of many things, not just homicide," she said.
The result is manifested differently and can lead to anxiety, depression and risky behavior, such as substance abuse, she said.
"It's very individualized," Stuckey said. "It's a psychological response to a stressor.
"When you think about neighborhoods that experience it more often, you kind of get a sense of numbness after a while," she said.
For more information about CARE, visit http://bit.ly/2sy2GeQ.