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Our Catalytic Grants at Work On The Ground: FOCUS Pittsburgh/TICD

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Last spring, we awarded $50,000 to FOCUS Pittsburgh to support the planning and pilot phase of their Trauma Informed Community Development (TICD) Initiative. Check out this great video to learn more about this innovative pilot program and the progress being made.

After receiving our $50,000 planning grant, FOCUS Pittsburgh immediately began to build the infrastructure to support to help address the effects of trauma and revitalize community by establishing and promoting healthy, healing micro-communities.  A team of relevant experts was recruited to form an advisory board to support the development of the initiative. Understanding the necessity of research and data analysis, a TICD Research Coalition was also formed and housed at Duquesne University with participants of multiple disciplines from Duquesne University, the University of Pittsburgh, Point Park University, and Department of Human Services.  These two groups provided the relevant expertise to build an innovative and responsible approach to TICD.

With the expertise in support, FOCUS Pittsburgh began to work. A fifteen week training was developed to train Behavioral Health Community Organizers (BHCO) who would be recruited from the community and deployed to facilitate block interventions. The first class of nine was trained and one BHCO was hired and deployed to begin probing potential blocks to pilot the intervention. The first block has already committed to participate in the intervention beginning in June of 2016.  A health assessment tool also continued to be developed called imHealthy giving FOCUS Pittsburgh the opportunity to measure intervention impacts by assessing improved health outcomes.  imHealthy is currently in the validation phase and will be piloted in the summer of 2016.  Additional work has also been done to develop an appropriate plan to develop housing cooperatives that also have a culture of health and well-being.   Furthermore, a response to trauma in schools has also emerged as part of the TICD Research Coalition work. FOCUS Pittsburgh is currently in conversation with multiple schools about the prospect of piloting interventions in the context of wider TICD.

For more information on TICD and Focus Pittsburgh, visit their website.

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