Serving the needs of all Homicide Survivors in Northeast Florida with immediate and long-term support, grief recovery assistance and life rebuilding skills founded on a unique peer support and counseling program.
FOR OUR CHILDREN...
Our youth program initiative, Camp Maddie, is a three-day residential camp that takes place at YMCA's Camp Immokalee in Clay County, Florida and serves NE Florida Child Survivors of Homicide (ages 7 to 17). Sessions typically scheduled in mid-May each year. The primary goal of Camp Maddie is to provide the children with coping skills to better understand and deal with their grief. The camp staff includes mental health professionals experienced in dealing with children's grief, along with trained volunteers.
Please be sure to visit our Camp Maddie link at the top of this page...
WAYS WE HELP...
We are here to help ease your way
Guidance & Assistance
- Assisting with Victim Compensation Applications and Claims.
- Assistance in composing and submitting Victim Impact Statements to the courts.
- Providing crisis support, long-term support, with information about grieving and the life reconstructing process.
- Providing community agency information, Criminal Justice Advocacy and Court Escorts.
- For surviving families, friends, co-workers and the community at large, we provide information on the grief process, as well as, emotional and psychological trauma, the process of family reconstruction and the Criminal Justice System as it pertains to homicides.
- Crisis and long-term peer grief support on a one-to-one basis helping survivors understand and meet the needs of family members, especially grieving children.
- Crisis management during all phases of the grief and healing process, criminal/legal proceedings, life reconstruction.
- Events to honor and remember our loved ones.
FACTS OF GRIEF...
Portrait by Eric Harms
- Family relationships are often strained and broken due to the overwhelming nature of the event. Many people simply do not know what to say for fear of saying the wrong thing, making survivors feel abandoned and angry.
- Family and friends wonder what they or others could have done to prevent the homicide, i.e., "IF ONLY..."
- Survivors often feel stigmatized because outsiders try to place blame on the victim, family or friends to ease the fear that this could happen to them & their families.
- Sometimes the violator(s) may not be identified or apprehended, causing the family further frustration, fear and anger.
- Some contact with investigators, prosecutors, social workers, defense attorneys, the defendant, and the media may be necessary, intensifying and prolonging grief.
- Overwhelming grief can be devastating to every area of your life: spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially. Since everyone's grief is unique, each survivor may experience a broad array of emotions at varying times. It is normal to feel fearful, helpless, vulnerable.
- Allow survivors to talk about the crime but don’t focus the conversation on the investigation. Their recovery should not be based on what may or may not happen in the courts.
- Allow them to talk about the good and bad times or say nothing at all, if they choose. Listen without judgment.
- Allow them to cry freely, as this is a normal healthy expression of grief and releases tensions.
- Allow them to grieve in their own way for as long as they need, provided they are not a physical threat to themselves or others.
- Allow them to leave old traditions behind that may be too painful as they are building a new life.
- Demonstrate your friendship by honoring their loved one on holidays, their birthdays, anniversaries.
We help bridge the gap between newly bereaved and others to ease their way.