Council has invested nearly $5 million to establish New York State’s first TRCs in NYC, and is advocating for $7.2 million in baselined funding to sustain and grow centers in Fiscal Year 2025 city budget

Brooklyn, NY – Today, New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and Council Members celebrated the opening of a new trauma recovery center (TRC) in Coney Island, Brooklyn at the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island (JCCGCI). It is the latest opening of several new TRCs established in New York City because of nearly $5 million in Council funding for the comprehensive, trauma-informed crime victim services centers that provide recovery support to victims of violence. The Council’s investments have established New York State’s first TRCs in Brooklyn (2) and the Bronx (1). The centers can help stop cycles of crime in communities underserved by traditional victim services but most affected by violence, including gun violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and hate crimes. In its official response to the Mayor’s Preliminary Budget, the Council called for $7.2 million in baselined funding to permanently sustain the existing TRCs and create one new center in both Queens and Staten Island in the Fiscal Year 2025 budget.

TRCs are designed to reach survivors of violent crime who have less access to traditional victim services and are less likely to engage in mainstream mental health or social services. They provide wraparound services and coordinated care, including mental health, physical health, and legal services, by utilizing multi-disciplinary staff that can include psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and outreach workers focused on providing survivor-centered healing and removing barriers to care. Based on a model of care developed in 2001 at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), TRCs have been proven to improve economic, health, and social outcomes of those who receive their services. They improve public safety by interrupting cycles of violence and increasing participation in the legal process.

Clients of TRCs have been shown to have an approximately 43% decrease in symptoms of PTSD and depression; 82% were effectively linked to help with other community services; 91% report a better ability to handle day-to-day activities; and 89% were helped to reduce or more effectively deal with substance use. Additionally, they have increased the rate of sexual assault survivors receiving mental health follow-up services from 6% to 71%, and the TRC model costs 34% less than the usual fee-for-service model of care.

“Trauma recovery centers should be a pillar of our public safety infrastructure to support underserved crime victims and communities harmed by the trauma of violence inflicted in our neighborhoods,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “The Council is proud to have funded the creation of New York State’s first TRCs, which will provide comprehensive services for survivors of violence in our city who fall through the cracks of traditional victim services. With the opening of the new TRC in Coney Island, Brooklyn residents will have improved access to critical services that help them recover from trauma and stop cycles of violence. I look forward to working with our community partners to advance this groundbreaking model. It is urgent that we sustain and expand these essential victim services for New Yorkers in the city and state budgets to create safer and healthier neighborhoods.”

Speaker Adams and the New York City Council have prioritized the need to expand support for victims of violence as a key public safety investment. The Council provided the initial funding to establish the state’s first trauma recovery centers, allocating nearly $5 million in fiscal years 2023 and 2024 to support their creation. Other trauma recovery centers in New York City are operated by Astor Services in the Bronx and Rising Ground in East Flatbush, Brooklyn.

Since the creation of the first TRC in 2001, there has been a nationwide expansion to 52 centers across 12 states, including Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

JCCGCI’s Trauma Recovery Center will be led by Dr. Dulande Louis, PhD, LMSW, and will employ trauma therapists who offer specialized, trauma-informed care that meets program participants where they are, both geographically and emotionally.

Photos will be available on the Council’s Flickr page.

“Even as more people seek out treatment for mental health issues, many don’t immediately recognize the connection between their current struggles and their history of unprocessed traumatic experiences. Indeed, cycles of violence continue when trauma goes unchecked and victims lack the services and support they need to heal. Removing barriers so people can access culturally competent, trauma-informed, evidence-based mental health care is crucial, especially in communities of color,” said Council Member Justin Brannan. “We can’t simply ‘more cops’ our way out of every problem we face. That is why this Council, through the leadership of Speaker Adrienne Adams, has invested in proven solutions to enhance public safety holistically and produce long-term results. JCCGCI’s Trauma Recovery Center provides comprehensive, wraparound services, bringing hope and healing to victims of violence, their families, and their communities. By establishing trauma recovery centers with trusted community partners like JCCGCI, we can support the recovery of crime victims, end cycles of violence, and help bring about true, community-based public safety.”

“As the New York City Council continues to strengthen our city’s mental health infrastructure and provide enhanced outreach to individuals suffering from the stressors associated with trauma, I welcome the opening of JCCGCI’s Trauma Recovery Center,” said Council Member Linda Lee, Chair of the Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities, and Addictions. “Too many New Yorkers have fallen through the cracks due to the gaps in service of the continuum of mental healthcare, which I have witnessed firsthand through my career as a social worker. With the unveiling of a new Trauma Recovery Center, Brooklyn residents will receive the proven, lifesaving support necessary to navigate these experiences. Through the Council’s Mental Health Roadmap and investments into holistic programs, our city will create positive outcomes that lead New Yorkers out of this crisis. Thank you to Speaker Adrienne Adams for your leadership and to the JCCGCI for their partnership for the betterment of all New Yorkers.”

“As the Chair of the Committee on Public Safety, I believe that it is crucial that we, as a city, begin to take a deeper look at community-based solutions to address the state of public safety in this city,” said Council Member Yusef Salaam. “I am proud to stand with Speaker Adams and my colleagues in the Council in our renewed effort to invest in these kinds of interventions and support the work and the growth of Trauma Recovery Centers. I look forward to working with the Council and our government and non-profit partners to expand these vital services to all boroughs including Manhattan. Our communities deserve this healing.”

“I am proud to stand alongside Speaker Adams and my fellow Council Members in our unwavering commitment to partnership and support for Trauma Recovery Centers (TRCs) in our communities. Together, we recognize the profound importance of these centers in empowering communities and healing individuals impacted by trauma,” said Council Member Kevin C. Riley. “TRCs play a vital role in providing essential support and resources to those affected by trauma, offering a pathway towards healing and resilience. With the recent opening of the first TRC in my district, and now the expansion of Brooklyn Trauma Recovery Center, we are taking significant steps towards addressing the critical need for accessible mental health services in our neighborhoods to serve more New Yorkers. I commend the dedication of the JCCGI and Astor Services as they tirelessly work to break the cycle of trauma effects and uplift communities through crisis intervention, case management, therapy, and legal assistance. I look forward to continued advocacy for expanding the TRC network citywide.”

“JCCGCI’s Trauma Recovery Center is changing the landscape of mental health care in underserved communities, improving access to resources for Brooklyn residents impacted by trauma and violence,” said Dr. Moshe Wiener, Executive Director of Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island. “Led by Dr. Dulande Louis, PhD, LMSW, our TRC is meeting participants where they are, providing wraparound services in a culturally competent manner. With the incredible support of Speaker Adams and the New York City Council, we have been enabled to save and improve lives across the borough, and we are just getting started. With our new space centrally located here in Brooklyn, we can continue to grow and expand our services for the betterment of all of our communities.”

“Trauma creates change that we don’t choose. Taking the path to heal is a powerful and intentional journey. Facing your trauma is difficult, but also necessary in order to heal and move on. You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only option,” said Jaida Richardson, Program Director of Astor Services’ Trauma Recovery Center. “One day, you will tell the story of how you overcame, and it will be someone else’s survival guide. Astor’s Trauma Recovery Center is dedicated to helping those who did not have a choice and chose the path of healing while instilling hope for their future and helping other survivors of trauma.”

“Rising Ground is excited to be part of the initiative bringing Trauma Recovery Centers to New York City,” said Susan Sampogna, Chief Program Officer of Rising Ground. “Serving East Flatbush, Rising Ground’s TRC – which will soon open a physical space – recognizes the unique needs of a vulnerable community, where systemic inequities often compound the impact of violence. By centering services around inclusivity and compassion, the TRCs ensure that survivors of violence and crime receive empathetic support and healing beginning with the principle that ‘all are welcome.’”

“We are excited for the ribbon cutting at the JCCGI TRC this week and for all the TRC services in New York working with violent crime survivors and their families,” said Gena Castro Rodriguez, Psy.D, LMFT, Executive Director of the National Alliance of Trauma Recovery Centers. “We know these services will help survivors and the broader community with vital treatment and support.”

“This new trauma recovery center would not have been possible without the tireless advocacy of community members and the commitment of JCCGCI’s leadership, as well as Speaker Adams and the New York City Council who provided funding in the city budget to make this center a reality,” said Aswad Thomas, Vice President of Alliance for Safety and Justice and National Director of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice. “It is critical for the city and state to provide multi-year funding to sustain these services for crime victims in neighborhoods impacted by violence.”