COLUMBUS (WCMH) — After 3 people were murdered in the Hilltop area in 2015, residents wanted closure after such a traumatic event happened so close to home.
A coalition called CARE, Community Action Resilience and Empowerment, began from there as a way for the community to cope with senseless acts of violence.
Mariann Stuckey with Columbus Public Health saw the need for the community to talk about trauma they’ve experienced as she walked door-to-door and people opened up.
“I saw people that were kind of contained, they wanted to speak about the trauma that they experienced but didn’t have the outlets to, and I saw people that needed to talk about it,” she said.
And now with the help of City Council who met in Linden today, staff can be hired with $200,000 dollars going towards the initiative that provides help for families in need free of cost.
“I think that Council recognizes the fact that violence is on the rise nationally and Columbus is not immune to that,” said City Council president Zach Klein.
Klein adds that the highest area of violence are in the Hilltop and Linden areas, which is why they chose these areas to launch the program.
“Actually roll up our sleeves, get boots on the ground, door knock, meet people and where they live and teach people about trauma and get them the help that they need in the hope of preventing future violence.”
Cynthia Wilson is trying to cope with the trauma of walking into her grandson’s apartment and finding both of her grandsons shot to death on March 10th.
“The one was laying in the floor and the other was sitting on the couch but after shaking them I realized they had passed”
It’s a traumatic image that Wilson says she can’t get out of her head. “For the rest of my life I’m going to member that. I Wake up thinking about it, I go to bed thinking about it and I think about it all day long,” Wilson said.
People with CARE reached out and gave Wilson someone to talk to.
“They were very nice and very compassionate and let me say anything that I wanted to say,” she said. “They let me cry on their shoulders and it makes a difference because it’s hard to just go on with your day-to-day life knowing that somebody cared enough to come by here and talk to me and express how I was feeling. You have someone to talk to one of the most important things is being able to talk to someone about it. . . . The pain is so deep and it’s almost like someone took something and just ripped it out of your chest, you know, like a piece of your soul is gone and you can’t get it back. Can’t get it back no matter how hard we try, no matter what we do they’re gone and we can’t get it back.”
Wilson thinks this program will help prevent future crimes saying it causes the community to talk about violence and brings people together to cope.