|
|
|
The Telegram
  • United Way facilitates crisis response with community leaders

  • About 30 politicians and representatives from faith-based and nonprofit organizations around Herkimer and Oneida counties gathered at the Herkimer office of the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area Friday to make a plan of action regarding the shooting tragedy in Herkimer and Mohawk.

    “We want to work together and coordinate services,” said Brenda Episcopo, United Way executive director.

    • email print
  • About 30 politicians and representatives from faith-based and nonprofit organizations around Herkimer and Oneida counties gathered at the Herkimer office of the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area Friday to make a plan of action regarding the shooting tragedy in Herkimer and Mohawk.
    “We want to work together and coordinate services,” said Brenda Episcopo, United Way executive director.
    Emergency responders are still working to help piece both communities back together after police say Kurt Myers, 64, set fire to his Mohawk home in the morning before shooting four people — two fatally — at John’s Barbershop in Mohawk. He then killed two more people at Gaffey’s Fast Lube in Herkimer.
    The meeting was set to help see what response is currently taking place and coordinate long-term help.
    “It’s going to take a long time to wrap our heads around it,” Episcopo said.
    The following topics were discussed:
    * What crisis services are currently being implemented to avoid duplication.
    * Compiling a list of those services and disseminating them.
    * To identify gaps in services and make sure needs are met.
    * Making a plan and identifying long-term services that the community might need.
    There will be follow-up meetings to further explore the topics, Episcopo said.
    Also discussed were how to make opportunities available for people to gather together and process what happened and connecting individuals in need with professionals who can help.
    Organization representatives in attendance included: the American Red Cross, Herkimer ARC, Herkimer County Office for the Aging, Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency, YWCA of the Mohawk Valley, Herkimer-Oneida Organizations Active in Disaster and the Neighborhood Center.
    The Herkimer-Oneida Organizations Active in Disaster had been working on a crisis response plan, using other tragedies, such as the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 20 students and six staff members were gunned down, as examples.
    It is not ready yet, but this meeting should help with the process, Episcopo said.
    “People need to talk about what happened,” she said. “One thing everyone can to is just be a good listener.”
      • calendar