Program at hospital works to curb violence in NYC

With gun violence on the rise in New York City, a community-based organization is hoping critical intervention can help make a difference.

Guns Down, Life Up, which was established in 2011, has one mission: to help reduce gun violence and improve the lives of young people. Three years ago, it expanded by launching a unit at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, better known as Lincoln Hospital, in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx.

"We talk to the community, we talk about problems and solutions how we can make our community a safer and better place," said James Dobbins, the director of Guns Down, Life Up program at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln.

Dobbins works in the emergency room mentoring and providing resources to stabbing and gunshot victims right at their bedside.

"One of our main objectives is to stop retaliation and de-escalate situations from occurring," he said.

Lincoln Hospital is the busiest trauma center in New York City and the fourth-biggest in the country, Dobbins said. Since January, he has seen over 300 victims of shootings, stabbings, and other assaults.

Those first few hours when the victim arrives at the hospital are critical he says, why? Because usually the family and friends of the victim are angry.

Kartier Conway volunteers with the program. Last year, his own son Ocean Conway was shot in the head outside the Paterson Houses in the Bronx.

"They were there for me, even before I got there when my son was affected by gun violence," Conway said.

Dobbins and his team helped the Conway family. They held community rallies, which led to the arrests of suspects. 

Guns Down, Life Up has a number of programs for the youth, including a summer program.

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