Guns Down Life Up offers mentorship for shooting victims, their families at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln
A community-based program that mentors shooting victims at their hospital bedside is providing critical intervention during their time of need to help quell gun violence.
"Guns Down Life Up" at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln helps deescalate any thoughts or actions of retaliation from a gunshot victim
Kartier Conway mentors families through the gun violence crisis. Last year, his own family fell victim to gun violence after his then 16-year-old was shot in the head at the Patterson Houses in the South Bronx.
“James is the first one on the scene. Having that support made my family at better ease,” says Conway.
James Dobbins is the director of the Guns Down Life Up program at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln. He works in the emergency room visiting and talking to stabbing and gunshot victims and their families.
“I see the patient, by the bedside that is a crucial time, we talk to the family members that are outside; a lot of family members a trauma side, so we talk to the friends,” says Dobbins.
Dobbins says the program also helps the victims’ loved ones, who often times want to take matters into their own hands.
“The objective is to stop retaliation and offer them some type of alternative and resources,” says Dobbins.
He says these types of programs are needed more than ever with the recent spike in violence taking place across the city.
Conway says during his son’s shooting he had to remain a role model.
“It was very difficult to practice what you preach because that's my only son,” says Conway.
Both men, long time mentors of Guns Down Life Up say providing intervention and other resources will help break the circle of street violence in our communities allowing cooler heads to prevail.
As for Conway’s son Ocean, he's on his way to a full recovery.