Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $930,000)
El Paso, Texas is a persistent-poverty city on the far West tip of Texas, sharing the Rio Grande and an economy with sister city, Juarez, Mexico. Historically notorious for its proximity to cartel wars, public slaughter at social gatherings, and mass graves of raped and murdered women in Juarez, El Paso tragically gained additional fame in late 2019 due to the terroristic attack/hate crime that left 23 dead and 22 wounded at a Walmart store that looks across the border into Mexico. Compounding the shared experience of violence and ethnic hatred is the lived misery inside homes where stressors of economic strain and isolation of COVID-19 has caused massive spikes in domestic violence and child abuse. This project targets school-age youth exposed to violence (and their families) in El Paso County, 28.9% of whom live in poverty.
The goals of the project are to build the capacity of families and service providers to help children exposed to violence. Project objectives include: 1) Enhance and develop targeted supportive services for children exposed to violence; 2) Develop community-based violence prevention and intervention approaches that address risk factors and build on protective factors to reduce juvenile delinquency and crime; 3) Provide direct, person-to-person outreach strategies to increase awareness and 4) Build the capacity of families and communities to help children exposed to violence.
Deliverables include: 1) Maintain consistent communication among multidisciplinary team of stakeholders to build capacity to respond to families and youth exposed to violence; 2) Provide trauma-informed evidence-based counseling and/or psychoeducational skill-building services to approximately 300 youth exposed to violence; 3) Provide evidence-based mentoring services for approximately 100 youth (some of whom may also receive counseling services); and 4) Provide family engagement activities and/or training on protective factors (through Parent Cafés) to approximately 200 participants. Activities/Strategies include: 1) Incorporating EBPs – Counseling with TF-CBT, WhyTry Psychoeducational Curriculum; 2) Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentoring and 3) Be Strong Families Parent Cafés