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Trauma Recovery Center in Coney Island sees significant community response. Leaders now hope to expand.

Coney Island trauma recovery center shares success stories
Coney Island trauma recovery center shares success stories 02:03

NEW YORK - It's been several months since a new Trauma Recovery Center opened in Coney Island, and leaders say the community has responded in droves.

Trauma Recovery Center trying to help survivors heal

In a discreet building on Mermaid Avenue, a new space is dedicated to serving victims of crime and their families. 

Dr. Dulande Louis is the founding director of the Trauma Recovery Center, operated by the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island. It's one of three centers citywide and 52 nationwide that work to promote survivor-centered healing.

"There is not a single person in this community who doesn't know someone who was killed or someone who was injured through gun violence," Louis told CBS New York's Hannah Kliger. "We also provide tangible needs and assistance for the survivors."

Services for participants are free of charge. Tenakia Edmunds, a lifelong resident of South Brooklyn, decided to try it after mourning the loss of four siblings. The breaking point was losing her brother to a fentanyl overdose last year. 

"I needed someone to talk to. I needed a place to vent, and I needed to, someone to just hear me out and hear my anger and frustrations about the things that I went through," Edmunds said.

Trauma Recovery Center aims to understand issues in community

Through outreach conducted by LaToya Nunn, the Participant Engagement Representative, leaders get a chance to understand the systemic issues that lead to cycles of violence.

"There's a lot of gun violence," Nunn said of the community. "Our people are traumatized from that and are having a hard time with even knowing how to trust someone or even going to certain spaces and places such as a park."

Program Assistant Marina Meyster says the center offers wraparound services to create a more holistic approach.

"Usually they also have a lot of, like, physical problems that they're dealing with, right, such as, housing or food insecurity or, you know, child care. So those things, for example, I can help them to get information about," she said.

Louis says they've had such a big response that there's now a waiting list. The center is hoping to secure more funding to expand staff, and increase the amount of people they can serve. 

As of now, funding comes entirely through City Council to keep these services free. 

Have a story idea or tip in Brooklyn? Email Hannah by CLICKING HERE.

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