The CARE Coalition’s aim is to help those who are directly and indirectly impacted by violence in their community.
It helps individuals, families and neighborhoods become healthy and strong again after something tragic happens.
They provided information like resources to counseling and programs to help people deal with the trauma of losing a loved one or even experiencing a murder in their neighborhood.
Crystal Turner is using the services of the CARE Coalition three years after she lost two of her children to gun violence.
“Part of what the community doesn’t see after the funeral is gone, after family and friends leave and you’re left now to deal with a new normal life,” Turner said.
Her new normal life began on April 1, 2015.
“I received a phone call that as a parent you don’t want to receive.”
Two of her children, Jenae Harvison and Donell McDonald Jr., were shot and killed by Jenae’s estranged husband.
Now, Turner is left raising her daughter’s children. It’s a reality she faces every day.
“People often say to you we’re so glad you’re strong, we’re so glad you’re strong, but nobody is ever around in those weak moments,” Turner said.
Turner admits that some of her strength comes from help she’s received from the CARE Coalition’s services.
“We have a team that once we’re notified of a homicide, will reach our directly to the family,” said Marian Stuckey who is the Section Chief for the Neighborhood Social Services at Columbus Public Health. “We’ll then kind of schedule time to meet and talk to them about available resources and get them connected to our partners.”
On April 1, 2015. they reached out to Turner.
She said through counseling and programs they’ve connected her to, she can now help people who are going through the same kind of grief she experienced, but may be reluctant to ask for help.
“We all come together and sit down and talk about what we can do to make our communities better,” Turner said.
It’s a journey that the Columbus Health Commissioner Dr. Myshieka Roberts said makes this program work.
“I’m proud to call a city like this home. That values mental health and has something like a CARE coalition and trauma-informed care, making it a priority,” said Roberts.
Roberts added that this program could expand to include victims of other kinds of trauma.