S.O.S. workers at the S.O.S. Peace March, October 2011.
Crown Heights Community Mediation Center
The Mediation Center is a unique neighborhood institution that works to improve community problem-solving, collaboration, and inter-group relations in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Operating out of storefront offices since 1998, the Mediation Center seeks innovative ways to promote community cohesion in a neighborhood known for fragmentation. This includes providing residents with links to resources on issues like education, parenting, housing, and immigration; providing support to young people navigating the challenges of violence, drugs, and poverty; and galvanizing neighborhood stakeholders in order to improve the quality of life for all residents. To learn more about current programming, click to read the blog.
How It Works
The Mediation Center's services include:
Neighbor Services: As a walk-in community center on a busy street, the Mediation Center is well-positioned to understand and address neighborhood concerns. The Mediation Center’s storefront location and open-door policy mean residents drop in to seek help, resources, and referrals for a variety of problems. Each year, the Mediation Center serves hundreds of community members who are seeking assistance with issues related to housing, family disputes, community concerns, unemployment, and immigration. The Mediation Center also publishes two resource directories, one focused on the needs of people returning to the community after having been incarcerated and one that lists general services like counseling, job training, and day care. Click here for the reentry resource guide and here for the general community guide.
Trainings: The Center provides customized trainings for schools, community-based organizations, religious groups and others, offering workshops in conflict resolution, mediation, diversity and more. Please call our office if you're interested in a training. See our training page for a full list.
Facilitation: Facilitations are group sessions designed to promote understanding and tolerance among diverse groups in the community. The Mediation Center’s role in this process can include everything from convening coalitions and facilitating dialogue to providing space and administrative support. Facilitation sessions can be useful in all kinds of situations – from working with a discordant block association to plan a street fair to organizing a peace march to bring together residents after a violent event in the community.
Save Our Streets: S.O.S. seeks to end shootings and killings in Crown Heights. Highly-trained outreach workers – hired for their street credibility, their knowledge of the neighborhood, and the positive changes they have made in their own lives – work evenings and nights to prevent violence. The outreach workers also assist with GED classes, job interviews, and counseling, and they consistently teach and show that there are other options rather than violence. Workers also organize marches and vigils whenever a shooting occurs in the 77th precinct. Working with local clergy, residents and business owners, S.O.S. has one goal: to end the spread of violence and show that shootings and killings are not acceptable in Crown Heights. For more information, see the S.O.S. blog.
Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets: The youth organizing arm of S.O.S., YO S.O.S. aims to empower young people, ages 14-17, to become community leaders and organizers. Through a combination of experiential workshops and service learning opportunities, YO S.O.S. participants will develop a the skills needed for tomorrow's leaders, such as community organizing, networking, public speaking, job training and real-world work experience. Participants' youth development activities will be supplemented by one-on-one case management to provide additional services when needed. Participants who successfully complete the inital program components will receive a stipend and will be placed in paid summer employment opportunities.
Make It Happen!: MIH! is a program designed to assist young men, ages 16-24, in overcoming challenges related to exposure to violence, poverty, and inadequate role models. Participants are provided wih coaching on their goals and visions for the future. All participants are connected to resources to assist in job readiness and placement, education, housing, and other relevant issues.
Crown Heights Mediation Center Blogs
October 21, 2014
Welcome Back, S.O.S. Team!
From left: David Grant, Larry Holland, Lavon Walker, David Gaskin (front), Derick Latif Scott, Allen JamesS.O.S. staff traveled to Philadelphia this...Read More
September 19, 2014
YO S.O.S. is Now Accepting Applications!
Applications for YO S.O.S. 2014-15 are now available!Click here for online applicationYO S.O.S. offers bi-weekly after-school workshops which...Read More
September 19, 2014
Visitors from London
Outreach Worker David Gaskin, left,with British visitor Dawn JosephOn Thursday, September 18, S.O.S. Crown Heights welcomed two visitors from the...Read More
YO S.O.S. 2011-2012
S.O.S. Peace March, October 2011
CHCMC Volunteer helps out at the annual Family Day picnic, June 2011
S.O.S. Lead by Example Basketball Tournament
Check out our "events" page for more info on this upcoming program!