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Victim/Witness Services of South Philadelphia (VWSSP)

1800 Jackson Street

Philadelphia, PA 19145

 

Alison Sprague, Executive Director, (215) 551-3360
email: alison@vwssp.org

 

Victim/Witness Services of South Philadelphia is one of six similar neighborhood- based non-profits focused on Victim / Witness services in Philadelphia. The mission of V/WSSP is to “respond to the needs of crime victims and witnesses throughout South Philadelphia and to foster a greater sense of neighborhood security”. The staff of ten reflects the community’s diversity, which fosters trust among those affected by crime, especially those who are recent immigrants to the U.S. and those whose primary language is other than English. There are no requirements (related to criteria such as citizenship or income) to receive the services of V/WSSP. The organization has assisted over 38,000 victims of crime since 1989. Every victim of violence, whether affected directly or indirectly, is tempted to seek revenge through violence. V/WSSP has intervened in tens of thousands of incidents to find peaceful ways for victims to resist that temptation and find constructive ways to heal.

 

The staff helps victims learn about victims’ rights, how to apply for compensation, and they help connect victims with the police and District Attorney’s office. The staff provides personal counseling and referrals for translation services, ESL, health care, legal aid, shelters for the homeless, help with visas, neighborhood associations and faith communities, home repair (for property crimes) and whatever else the client might need. In addition, they provide workshops on making the community a safer, more peaceful place to live, as well as on restorative justice, how to advocate for oneself, and how to respond to COVID and other threats to health and safety. Like other effective agencies, V/WSSP does not restrict itself to a narrow mission but responds to whatever needs they confront either directly or through relationships with other agencies and organizations.