Community Outreach Community outreach incorporates addressing the aftermath of a traumatic event on a large scale as well as increasing awareness of available services on a smaller scale. Addressing Traumatic Events in the Community: candlelight vigils Vigils can be a therapeutic aspect of the grieving process to memorialize and honor loved ones. Victim Assistance Program can help families and friends coordinate community vigils by working with law enforcement, assiting with parking permits, supplying candles and tissues, arranging media presence, and assisting in the scheduling of speakers. Like all of our services, there is no cost for our assistance. community meetings Many individuals will not be personally affected by a victimization or trauma, however it is common for many to be vicariously affected when a significant traumatic event happens to someone in your neighborhood, school, business or church. When the community is affected by a traumatic event, Victim Assistance staff can be called to provide a formal group crisis intervention. In addition to crisis intervention, staff can provide a group presentation to normalize the feelings and emotions they may encounter. neighborhood canvases In neighborhoods adversely affected by violent crime, VAP staff canvas the homes, apartments and businesses providing information, rumor control, safety information and group crisis interventions. These may range from an apartment house where there has been a homicide, to an entire neighborhood where a highly traumatic incident or series of incidents have taken place. Our staff works in conjunction with local law enforcement as we go door to door to speak with people on an individual basis. Increasing Community Awareness: scheduled speaking engagements Victim Assistance Program has a designated individual whose responsibility entails providing education and awareness to the community to ensure all victims and professionals are aware of our services. As we strive to reach a diverse population, presentations are provided to church groups, civic groups, businesses, nursing homes, retirement communities, hospitals, social workers, and first responders. Presentations are conducted seven days a week, including evenings at no charge. If you want to schedule a speaking engagement, please fill out a form here: Speaking Request Form block watch meetings Safe neighborhoods begin with residents and we applaud those who are active in hosting and attending block watch meetings. In collaboration with the Akron Police Department’s COPS Program (Community Oriented Policing), our Community Advocate presents alongside a COPS office about various topics about services in addition to tips to remain safe. If you are involved in a block watch group, please consider inviting us, as we’d love to attend. booth at fairs Summit County is extremely fortunate to have programs designed to help our community flourish. As may host health fairs, seminars, and community workshops, we very much enjoy being invited to display our information and talk with attendees as they walk by. brochure distribution As it is a courageous step for victims to seek assistance, we strive to provide victims with as much information as we can to assist in their raod to recovery. Brochures identifying our services are distributed throughout the county to allow individuals to read at their leisure. Staff will hand deliver brochures, at no charge, to any entity that is willing and able to display brochures to help increase awareness of our services. crime stoppers Victim Assistance supports the community efforts to combat unsolved crimes. Speak up, report a crime, and help a victim put some closure on the criminal aspect of their victimization. Please visit http://summitcrimestoppers.org/ to find out how to become involved. poster distributions We have been fortunate enough to have been gifted artists time to create two poster advertisements. If your business is able to display either of the posters, we would very much appreciate your support to help increase awareness of victim service in our community.