One of the things I look forward to every year is working with the committee that selects the winner of the $25,000 Anisfield-Wolf Memorial Award. Through this project, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about so many incredible programs and organizations that many people don’t know about—even though they operate in our own backyard! This year is no different.
After a valiant effort to review all of the nominations, the committee selected the May Dugan Center (MDC) to receive the $25,000 prize for its Trauma Recovery Center (TRC), which provides immediate crisis management, and ongoing support, for victims of violent crime.
MDC provides mental health counseling, case management, basic needs services, education and trauma-informed care to low-income and disenfranchised individuals; families and children throughout Cuyahoga County. They predominantly serve people on the near west side of Cleveland.
MDC’s Trauma Recovery Center, opened in February 2017 as part of an inaugural project in Cleveland, and one of five in Ohio. TRC is a partnership with law enforcement, hospitals and other community agencies, created to provide crisis stabilization for victims of violent crime that do not fall under the umbrella of rape crisis or domestic violence. The TRC is funded through the Ohio Attorney General’s office by way of the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA).
Between February and December of last year, 526 individuals were referred to the TRC program, 425 made contact with the TRC and 320 engaged in services.
Between February and December of last year, 526 individuals were referred to the TRC program, 425 made contact with the TRC and 320 engaged in services. Along with counseling and case management, TRC counselors assisted 63 cases through the court process, helping 26 get compensation from the state and 18 get protective orders. The TRC also found emergency shelter for 12 crime survivors, found transitional housing for four and moved 18 into permanent housing. Others received emergency food, clothing and employment assistance, and participated in classes.
One facet that is especially notable about the service is the way staff listen and respond to the voices of people in need who may be afraid or unable to speak for themselves. Without the help of the TRC, those voices might never be heard, and those victims of crime might simply withdraw and be lost. The TRC offers Clevelanders a place to go to get the support they need to survive and to move ahead with their lives after having experienced trauma and crime.
The TRC offers Clevelanders a place to go to get the support they need to survive and to move ahead with their lives after having experienced trauma and crime.
The Anisfield-Wolf Memorial Award is one of two awards established by the late Edith Anisfield Wolf and is presented annually by Community Solutions and the Cleveland Foundation. Karen Long, manager of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards at the Cleveland Foundation, noted that Wolf was especially concerned about human welfare, giving attention to the voices of people at the margins, and building a more just community. So it’s so appropriate that May Dugan is receiving this year’s award.
The award will be presented to the May Dugan Center during the lunch program of Community Solutions’ 2018 Celebration of Human Services on Friday, October 26, at the Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center—Downtown.
The award will be presented to the May Dugan Center during the lunch program of Community Solutions’ 2018 Celebration of Human Services on Friday, October 26, at the Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center—Downtown. We hope you will join us to celebrate the May Dugan Center, its Trauma Recovery Center team and all of the people in our community who have been helped by their services. You can reserve your seat online today. While you’re at it, check out the information about the four free sessions that will be held that morning on how nonpartisan human service-related issues will likely be impacted by November’s election.
PS: Wolf also established the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards in 1935 to honor literature that furthered the cause of race relations, deepened the understanding of racism and enhanced appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures. The 2018 Book Awards were presented Thursday, September 27, as part of Cleveland Book Week.