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Using healing circles to help concertgoers after Armory incident

main street armory file photo
Max Schulte
The Main Street Armory.

The City of Rochester is working with a local organization to help those impacted by the incident at the Main Street Armory last Sunday to process their grief.

A surge of those attending a concert on Sunday night when they tried to get out of the facility caused injuries that were fatal for three women who were at the event.

The city is working with a business called Ubuntu Village Works to offer healing circles, safe spaces where where people who went to the concert can talk openly about the hurt and pain they suffered due to what happened on Sunday.

Melanie Funchess is the CEO and Principal at Ubuntu Village Works.

She said that it's important to help people dealing with trauma from Sunday's incident find a way to process it.

”Because no two people are the same. No two responses to trauma are the same,” noted Funchess. “So what we do is in the circle, we come and open and create the space that is safe, that is welcoming for people to be able to openly talk or hear or just be to process what they've been through.”

Alia Henton-Williams is the city’s Manager of Crisis Intervention Services. She said many people in Rochester were affected by Sunday’s tragedy, either directly or indirectly.

“We understand that community trauma is a very real thing,” said Henton-Williams. “And we want to interrupt that process. One of the goals of crisis intervention services is to be a part of the intervening and the interruption and the supporting of those who are dealing with community traumas.”

The healing circles are being held both in-person and virtually at a city building on St. Paul Street through at least March 15.

Healing circle sessions will take taking place on the following days and times:

  • 5 - 6 p.m., Thursday, March 9; in-person at 57 St. Paul St.
  • 2 - 3 p.m., Sunday, March 12; virtually
  • 5 - 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 15; virtually and in-person at 57 St. Paul St.

You can register for a session and get more details at this link.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.