Statement from Mayor George & Superintendent BarnesApril 16, 2021
To the Lakewood Community:
The recent weapons-related violence in Lakewood, including this week’s shooting at Madison Park, has dealt a blow to our community’s sense of well-being and togetherness. This comes at a time when our community is already reeling from the physical, mental, and economic impacts of a pandemic that is now more than a year old.
As leaders of our community, we are committed to providing the resources needed to help our community members cope with the trauma that follows events like these that shake our sense of security.
The City has engaged professional services of Frontline Mental Health Services to support our residents to resolve these crises and overcome any resulting trauma. FrontLine’s Children Who Witness Violence program has 22 years of expertise working with families and children who have experienced traumatic events including gun violence.
Children Who Witness Violence’s licensed social workers will be present at Garfield Middle School at 13114 Detroit Ave. on Tuesday, April 20 from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. to provide information and support around the impact of violence on children and caregivers. Due to COVID restrictions, you must make an appointment by calling the City of Lakewood Department of Human Services at 216-529-6686.
FrontLine Service will also provide a team of professionals who will reflect the racial diversity of the community. FrontLine has plans to collaborate with the City of Lakewood in improving racial equity and inconclusiveness in the community through future projects.
Additionally, FrontLine will be reaching out to Lakewood’s recreational coaches whose teams were at the park at the time of the shooting to facilitate discussions with parents and children during scheduled practice times.
Resources for families are also available at https://www.frontlineservice.org/overcoming-trauma
For those who are unable to attend/participate in this available crisis response resource, but may still want or need to talk through concerns, residents can call community-based staff at the City of Lakewood Division of Youth at 216-529-6870. They will listen, provide guidance and problem solve, and if needed, connect to additional support.
In the Lakewood City Schools, families have access to therapists affiliated with Bellefaire JCB, Ohio Guidestone, and the Cleveland Clinic who are available in every school building. The District’s counselors and psychologists, who are trained in crisis response, are also available. Families should contact their child’s building principal to connect with these resources.
The Lakewood City Schools and the City of Lakewood stand together in our commitment to preserving our community’s parks as a place where anyone can gather safely to enjoy the beauty and diversity of our city.
Meghan F. George Michael J. Barnes, Ed.D
City of Lakewood Lakewood City Schools
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