December 21st, 2020
December 2020
Reflecting on 2020...
As the year comes to an end, we’re reflecting on the enormity of the changes and challenges we’ve faced. VWSSP had barely settled into our new office at 1800 Jackson Street and celebrated our 30th anniversary as an organization, when suddenly the pandemic hit and it was necessary to start working remotely. We had major staffing changes as we said goodbye to long time staff members Phu Tien and Yoan Calvo Machado, and welcomed Caroline Kirchner, Terry Parker, Caitlin Joyce, Miguel Bacho, and Esteban Calel (back) to our team.

The team got creative by doing outreach at socially distanced outside events, staffing the lobby of the Criminal Justice System, and working the phones and Zoom to try to bridge the distance between us the people impacted by violence.
Carmetta Dickerson of Town Watch (second left to center), Tyrique Glasglow of Young Chances Foundation (center), Officer Kimberly Hickinson (third from far right), VWSSP Advocates Terry Parker (second to far right) and Lisa Klinman (far right) at the Stop the Violence Rally on Oct. 25.
While we celebrate the work we accomplished in 2020, we must also acknowledge the hardships our South Philadelphia community endured. In addition to COVID-19, the other pandemic that has deeply impacted our neighborhoods is violence and trauma. Our advocates are working harder than ever to provide outreach, counseling, assistance with medical bills, lost earnings, and medications, as well as trying to track down help for emergency needs such as food and housing.

We need your help to meet our goal to provide free and inclusive service to victims of violence. Please support our mission to make neighborhoods safer and support victims of crime by donating.
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Staff Member Highlight - Lisa Klinman
A Victim Advocate in our Immigrant Victim Access Collaborative (IVAC), Lisa Klinman is a dedicated advocate who is passionate about immigration issues and serving others. After graduating Bryn Mawr College with a degree in Anthropology, Lisa worked with the American Refugee Committee at various refugee camps across the Myanmar-Thailand border. After joining VWSSP three years ago, she now aids in projects such as ICE Out of Courts, a movement by the Immigrant Defense Project to make courts more accessible for immigrants and cease courthouse arrests, as well as the Philadelphia Area Immigrant Collective Action (PAICA) network's COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund.

"Getting to know clients is one of the most rewarding aspects of the work that we do," said Lisa. "We tend to meet people in some of their worst moments, recovering from some of their worst experiences, and I appreciate being able to support people in accessing the resources they need and watching them heal over time."

Outside of work, Lisa enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and foraging. These hobbies are great for self-care, too: Lisa has found that spending time outdoors and taking walks help diffuse stress and promote a positive sense of wellbeing.
Feeling the giving spirit or know a family in need of toys this holiday season?

The Young Chances Foundation has organized a Toy Drive in partnership with the 17th Police District from Dec. 1 to 21. Bikes, toys, clothing, and other items can be dropped off at the following locations:

17th Police District Community Relations Team
1201 South 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19145

Brooks Alternative HomeCare
1242 Point Breeze Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19145

Young Chances Foundation Community Engagement Center
2703 Tasker Street
Philadelphia, PA 19145
Last minute holiday shopping?
You can support VWSSP for free using Amazon Smile!
Amazon Smile is a program through Amazon that donates a small portion of the price of your eligible Amazon Smile purchases to the nonprofit of your choice, at no extra cost whatsoever to you. To use Amazon Smile and designate VWSSP as your organization of choice, click here.