The COVID Crisis: Red Hook Justice Center Assesses (and Responds to) Community Needs
Even with all its staff working from home, the Red Hook Community Justice Center is continuing to engage clients and the community.
The Justice Center is conducting confidential “wellness check-ins” with over 2,000 current and former clients to assess and respond to their needs in areas like public benefits, mental health and safety, and food security.
While COVID-19 requires staff to remain home, technology has allowed them to maintain much of the center’s regular programming. The staff are running groups for participants in their youth programming every Tuesday and Thursday, and the Justice Center's clinical staff are conducting daily outreach to clients, offering counseling, case management, and referrals to a wide variety of social service providers. The Justice Center’s Housing Resource Center is also working with the New York City Housing Authority to obtain repairs of urgent housing problems, like loss of heat or flooding.
In addition, staff are making neighborhood residents aware of services offered by the Justice Center's victim assistance program, Red Hook CARES, which offers a range of resources, including crisis counseling and safety planning for those at risk of domestic violence. The Justice Center is also reaching out to the public by tweeting wellness tips at @RedHookJustice under the hashtag #redhookCARES.
Amanda Berman, director of the Justice Center, says that the current crisis means the community needs the center’s services now more than ever. "The stress and isolation during the pandemic can be triggering for many people, particularly our clients with histories of trauma, substance use, or mental illness," she says.
For updates on the Justice Center's schedule and remote services, click here.