Trauma Informed Throughout the Bay Area: Project Thrive and Trauma Transformed

Last month ASR with Project Thrive attended the Trauma Informed Systems (TIS) Community of Practice Kick Off hosted by Trauma Transformed and the San Francisco Department of Public Health. In attendance were many of system of care professionals and familiar faces from throughout the Bay Area and beyond.

The conference focused on ways to make our systems and organizations more trauma-informed, to promote healing rather than re-traumatization. It gave information on the negative effects of stress, ways to reduce workplace stress, and how employees can take care of themselves. It fostered an environment of systems collaborating and coordinating to better meet the needs of their clients and communities. A highlight of the event was the keynote speaker, Dr. Kenneth V. Hardy’s, presentation on healing from racial trauma.

Trauma Informed Systems Kick Off Image

For more information about Trauma Transformed and their mission to have Bay Area communities working together to change the way we understand, respond to, and heal trauma click here.

We caught up with Javier Diaz of United Way about Project Thrive, which is focused on addressing gaps in how the community identifies, supports, and serves young boys and men of color that have been harmed by violence. Project Thrive is a result of the efforts to reduce youth violence put forth by Santa Cruz’s Youth Violence Prevention Task Force. It is providing a trauma informed system to increase the wellbeing and quality of life for young Latino and African American males and their families.

The mission of Project Thrive is to create a unified, comprehensive and culturally competent system of care that facilitates access and empowers young men and boys of color to step into their potential and greatness.

“Our mission and what you see on our website speaks to our ambition.” Javier explained the heart of Project Thrive is working with trauma in all aspects of young men and boys of color lives. The work of Project Thrive is unique and ahead of the curve in some ways in terms of talking about trauma in an interconnected way.

This is an exciting time for Project Thrive as the program is working and expanding in three main areas to better identify and serve young men of color and their families who have been harmed by violence:

·         Street Outreach - Project Thrive is mindful of how they gather information in local communities. Their street outreach efforts with young African-American and Latino males allow Project Thrive to ensure they are well informed and know how to work with the community.

·         Mental Health Liaisons - They currently have mental health liaisons and they are looking to add more staff to have 24/7 help available.

·         Leadership Opportunities – Project Thrive is conducting site visits of other programs to gain knowledge, “we don’t know what we don’t know,” Javier explains they are not re-creating the wheel but rather standing on the shoulders of giants. Project Thrive is looking at what is being done with other organizations across the country to best serve the community.

Project Thrive utilizes collaboration to lift up rather than define roles. The primary collaborators involved with Project Thrive are Applied Survey Research (evaluation and data), Youth Violence Prevention Task Force (base), Community Action Board (leverages community expertise), Santa Cruz County Mental Health (mental health liaisons), Santa Cruz County Probation (restorative justice model), and United Way of Santa Cruz County (coordination). Project Thrive has the highest level of integrity with bringing in partners with the expertise and the values that speak to the work of the project.

If you are interested in learning more about trauma informed, Project Thrive will be hosting a Trauma-Informed System of Care Conference on October 4th, which is already sold out (sign up for the waitlist here). The conference is an exciting piece in the work being done with Project Thrive to address the gaps, reduce youth violence, and provide trauma informed systems to increase wellbeing. The work in Santa Cruz with Project Thrive and across the Bay Area with Trauma Transformed are progressive movements in our communities to shape policies and practices of system of care individuals and agencies. Please let us know your thoughts or any comments via email.