Newswise — Baltimore, MD – LifeBridge Health’s Center for Hope, a comprehensive violence intervention and prevention center that opened last year, today announced the launch of the Red Desk Project, a public art statement situated outside Sinai Hospital. The Red Desk Project is designed to sound the alarm and raise public awareness about the dramatic increase in child homicide in Baltimore City year over year. To date, child homicides - the most brutal form of child abuse – have increased by 33% in a six-year period when compared to the prior six-year period. The Red Desk Project is a collaboration between LifeBridge Health’s Center for Hope, Sinai Hospital and Storyfarm in partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools.
The Red Desk Project - #reddeskproject- features 111 red school desks, one in remembrance of each child killed over the past six years in Baltimore City because of child abuse and gun violence. Led by Center for Hope, the Red Desk Project is the beginning of a series of initiatives designed to raise awareness surrounding senseless child homicides, honor those who have been killed, recognize the scale of what is happening and end the violence. The desks will remain on the grassy knoll outside Sinai Hospital at the corner of Greenspring Avenue and Northern Parkway for several weeks.
“The senseless killing of our children is a public health crisis that must end, and we are calling on the community to work with us at LifeBridge Health to reverse this trajectory that has reached tragic levels,” said Dan Blum, president of Sinai Hospital and Grace Medical Center as well as senior vice president of LifeBridge Health. “Our emergency, trauma and pediatric departments at Sinai Hospital treat too many victims caught in the cross hairs of community violence and domestic abuse. Child homicides have a significant impact on our community. But if we all come together and use the model created by Center for Hope, we can hope to reverse the long-term effects trauma has on our youth and our communities.”
Part of Center for Hope’s mission is to identify and target child abuse as a strategy to reduce future trauma and ultimately homicide. Children who visit Center for Hope are provided comprehensive case management, counseling and support. Center for Hope partners with City agencies, including the Baltimore Police Department’s Homicide Unit and the Baltimore Health Department’s Child Fatality Review team to identify children who may benefit from its Baltimore Links Program, which offers intensive case management to help prevent children from becoming a statistic. Center for Hope also supports multiple jurisdictions and municipalities outside of Baltimore City, and provides consultation support for organizations that engage the mission of victim advocacy and violence reduction
“With April being National Child Abuse Awareness Month and May being Trauma Awareness Month, we felt it was appropriate to launch the Red Desk Project to highlight the extraordinarily shocking number of child homicides happening in our backyard,” said Adam Rosenberg, vice president violence prevention and intervention, LifeBridge Health, and executive director of Center for Hope. “This is a bold statement that deserves attention from the community and action. For every homicide there is a blast radius of a dozen or so children impacted by that homicide. At Center for Hope, we know that our formulaic program works - when we work with children exposed to violence and abuse, their rate of survival and success increases.”
To learn more about the Red Desk Project, visit reddesk.org
About Center for Hope
Center for Hope, a part of the LifeBridge Health system, is a brand-new comprehensive violence intervention and prevention center. Center for Hope was established to integrate LifeBridge Health’s community violence programming into one location. It includes Baltimore Child Abuse Center (BCAC), Baltimore’s nationally accredited child advocacy center; the domestic violence hospital response program at Sinai and the DOVE program at Northwest Hospital; the Kujichagulia workforce development program, hospital violence intervention teams at Sinai Hospital and Grace Medical Center; a Safe Streets site in the Belvedere/Park Heights neighborhood; and a new Elder Justice Center.
About LifeBridge Health
LifeBridge Health is one of the largest, most comprehensive providers of health services in Maryland. LifeBridge Health includes Sinai Hospital, Northwest Hospital, Carroll Hospital, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, Grace Medical Center and related subsidiaries and affiliates, including ExpressCare Urgent Care Centers and LifeBridge Health & Fitness. For more information, visit www.lifebridgehealth.org