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Community Listening Circles Launch in the City of Lima

Updated: Jul 2, 2021

Lima, OH—Crime Victim Services announced June 18

the launch of a new initiative aimed at cultivating safer neighborhoods in the City of Lima. Community Listening Circles, a form of guided discussion, provide a structured but less formal way for residents to share about the causes and impact of violent crime in their neighborhoods and serve as a launch point for community service agencies like Crime Victim Services to develop programming that will directly address resident needs.

“We are very excited to be able to facilitate these kinds of community discussions amongst residents, and to hear how we can be most helpful,” said Erin Ostling Burkholder, director of Outreach & Prevention. “Our purpose is to provide prevention programming in the neighborhoods where it is most needed and this helps us understand where to start.”

Analysis of the City’s crime report data by a local non-profit, Data II Equity, revealed that Lima wards 3, 5, and 6 have consistently higher rates of violent crime than the other wards in the City. “We want the City of Lima to be a safer community with an improved climate for preventing violence and we believe that engaging the community in a conversation about what’s really happening behind that data is the first step to creating change,” said Carla Thompson, Ward 3 City Councilor. Thompson also works at Crime Victim Services as the Violence Prevention Coordinator for Allen County.

Jamie Dixon, Ward 5 Councilor and Dr. Derry Glenn, Ward 6 Councilor will join Thompson and Crime Victim Services in promoting and facilitating the discussions,which are funded through a United Way of Greater Lima Innovation Grant. Crime Victim Services aims to share learnings from the Community Listening Circles with community partners to aid in the development of a comprehensive strategy to reduce harm.

Community Listening Circles will be held on the last Tuesday of the month, beginning in Ward 3 in June, Ward 5 in July, and Ward 6 in August. The events will provide free dinner and childcare. For more information and to register, visit CrimeVictimServices on Facebook or call 419.222.8666.

Crime Victim Services is a local, independent non-profit victim services agency that believes communities thrive when all members prevail over trauma and support one another with empathy and respect.

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