"Life is not what it's supposed to be. It's what it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference." -Virginia Satir
You can’t always stop something bad from happening in your city, but you can decide how you’re going to respond to it. The City of Hampton, Virginia, found that people often came looking for information after a homicide in their neighborhood. To connect people with available resources, the City instituted the R.E.S.E.T. program in partnership with the Hampton Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office Victim Services Unit, City of Hampton’s Office of Youth and Young Adult Opportunities, Hampton 3-1-1, and the Hampton Police Department.
R.E.S.E.T., or Rapid Engagement of Support in the Event of Trauma, is a program led by volunteers who live in the neighborhoods they serve. Its framework is simple: neighbors share information about trauma support resources. The program is completely restorative in nature; although volunteers typically visit an area within 24 to 48 hours of a homicide or a serious violent gun violence crime, they are not investigating the crime. They are simply canvassing their community and speaking with their neighbors, creating an opportunity for residents to learn about the resources and programs available.
All volunteers must pass a background check and complete R.E.S.E.T. training. During the training, volunteers learn about the programs they will be highlighting, which include social services, 3-1-1, and other city programs, in addition to domestic violence services, counseling services, and other services offered by external city partners and non-profit organizations. Although the programs highlighted during R.E.S.E.T. visits can vary, they typically utilize the same programs each time.
The City has seen a positive return on investment and a large increase in resident engagement. The program has attracted more volunteers as it grows and, not only are more residents utilizing the programs highlighted by R.E.S.E.T., but the City receives calls inquiring about additional opportunities for receiving services and getting engaged in the community.
Think R.E.S.E.T. might be a good fit in your community? The City of Hampton had a few tips for getting started:
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