Philadelphia leaders announce new funds to bring trauma counseling to city rec centers

A new resource for Philadelphia rec centers will help families impacted by violence. City officials were joined by Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis Friday to announce a new program that would bring counselors to centers around the city.

Philadelphia’s Parks and Recreation Department is receiving a nearly $1 million dollar grant to offer counseling to those afflicted and grieving from violence at six of the city’s recreation centers.

Philadelphia’s political leadership and the state’s new Lieutenant Governor gathered at Overbrook’s Tustin Recreation Center to announce the grant. The Center for Families and Relationships will offer one-on-one and group sessions at the six rec centers located in the city’s most violent neighborhoods.

City Councilmember Curtis Jones, Jr. said he was excited by the plan because he said, "it’s no longer in vogue to suffer in silence. They can come right across the street from Overbrook to Tustin and get help."


The effort cannot come too soon as city recreation centers have seen nearly 300 incidents of violence since 2019, and this week a 15-year-old was wounded at the Dendy Rec. Center by an attacker on a bike.

Governor Shapiro’s 33-year-old Lt. Governor argues investments in education, police and tighter gun laws will help stem the violence and offer hope. Austin Davis was asked if residents in communities struggling with violence have given up hope things can change. Davis said he, "agreed people were tired but said the state had a lot of good people working to stem the problem."

The sessions have a planned starting date of sometime in June.

The six rec centers cited for counselors to work are:

  • Feltonville Rec Center, on East Wyoming Ave. in Feltonville
  • Mallery Rec Center, on East Johnson St. in East Germantown
  • Tustin Rec Center, on West Columbia Ave. in Overbrook
  • CB Moore, on North 22nd St, in North Philadelphia
  • Mander Playground, on North 33rd St., in Fairmount
  • 8th Diamond Playground, on Diamond St., in North Philadelphia


Click here to find resources for victims of violence in Philadelphia.