Gun Violence Prevention: Resources for communities

Services for crime victims 

Under the federal Crime Victims Act, victims — and their families if they’re deceased — are entitled to certain services to offset the financial costs of surviving a crime, like assistance with filing claims for victim’s compensation. 

Crime victims in Philadelphia can access these services through local agencies, with seven located throughout the city: 

  • Philadelphia Mobile Emergency Team: (215) 685-6440
  • West/Southwest Victim Services Program: (215) 748-7780
  • Center City Crime Victim Services: 215-665-9680
  • Northeast Victim Services: (215) 332-3888
  • Northwest Victim Services: (215) 438-4410
  • Victim Services of South Philadelphia: (215) 551-3360
  • East Division Crime Victim Services (Concilio and Congreso): (215) 426-4810

For survivors and loved ones

Many local organizations offer free counseling to shooting victims and their families, including the Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia, Mothers in Charge, CARES Philadelphia and Every Murder is Real (EMIR) Healing Center. They also provide assistance filing victim’s compensation forms, help with funeral arrangements, case management and referrals to other city resources. 

The North Kensington Community Development Corporation worked with residents in Kensington for three years to develop a free educational toolkit for helping people process trauma, especially after instances of violence. 

  • Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia, (215) 567-6776: Provides counseling to victims of violence and co-victims of homicide, with a hotline for families of murder victims.
  • Network of Neighbors Trauma Response Network, (267) 233-4837: Provides psychological first aid in the aftermath of a shooting, like resources to help individuals process their trauma, connections to other citywide resources and arrangements for deceased victims’ belongings.
  • Mothers in Charge, (215) 228-1718: Provides counseling and grief support services to families experiencing the death of a loved one.
  • Connected Community, (215) 739-1600: Provides a free five-module curriculum for helping communities process trauma.
  • CARES Philadelphia, (215) 686-8019: A division of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office that provides grief counseling, funeral assistance and utility support to crime victims.
  • Healing Hurt People, (215) 762-1177: A program run by Drexel University that offers free case management for people who have experienced traumatic events, including health care, housing and food. They also facilitate a mobile therapy program and peer support services.
  • Concilio, (215) 627-3100: Provides services for crime victims in East Philadelphia, like assisting with victim’s compensation forms, facilitating support groups and helping with emergency relocations.
  • EMIR (Every Murder is Real) Healing Center, (215) 848-4068: Provides services like grief support, assistance with victim’s compensation forms and assistance navigating the criminal justice system, including in-court advocacy.

What happens when there’s a violent crime?

When a shooting occurs in Philadelphia, the city’s Office of Violence Prevention sends community crisis intervention teams to the neighborhood, who help diffuse the tension and assist police in investigations. Cure Violence also offers training to help community leaders identify situations that may escalate to violence and intervene before shots are fired.  

Fighting Chance is part of Temple University Hospital’s Cradle to Grave program, and provides free first aid training tailored to treating shooting victims. 

Resources for children

  • YEAH Philly (267) 892-3538: Hosts after-school programming for kids, including free food and conflict mediation training. 
  • Uplift Center for Grieving Children (267) 437-3123: Provides free in-school support groups for children and teens, and resources to help caregivers support children as they grieve. 
  • Urban Youth Leadership Academy (215) 204-8917: Run through Temple University, the program provides middle school students with support completing service projects, including matching them with a college-aged or early-career mentor.
  • Safe Bet (215) 707-8398: Provides free cable gun locks to Philadelphia families who own firearms.
  • The ECO Foundation (267) 999-9901: Provides free food and after-school classes on topics like self-defense, music and video development.
  • Mighty Writers (267) 239-0899: With four offices in North, West and South Philly, Mighty Writers provides programs encouraging kids to write to process their feelings.
  • Power of Paint Art Academy & Management (215) 948-9417: POP Academy was started by a group of women in North Philadelphia who wanted to use art to promote healing. They provide in-person and virtual art classes for children and adults. 

Resources for dating violence and domestic abuse

Women Against Abuse operates Philadelphia’s 24/7 Domestic Violence Hotline with support from the city and in partnership with Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Lutheran Settlement House and Women in Transition. The organization also provides safe havens for survivors, a legal center, a transitional housing program for survivors with children, case management services and training to help communities intervene and avoid unhealthy relationships. 

  • Women Against Abuse: Call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-866-723-3014. Call their general office at 215-386-1280.
  • Congreso de Latinos Unidos (215) 763-8870: Their Latina Domestic Violence Program provides counseling and advocacy for survivors and children who have witnessed domestic violence. 
  • Lutheran Settlement House (215) 426-8610: Their Bilingual Domestic Violence Program provides free counseling services for victims and survivors of domestic violence and dating abuse. They also offer support groups, hotel placements for clients in crisis and transitional survivor housing. 

Women in Transition: Provides survivors with crisis counseling, peer support groups, client advocacy and referrals, community education trainings and self-defense classes. You can call for general inquiries at 215-564-0500, or their LifeLine for counseling support at 215-751-1111.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal