In 1981, the Community Safety Program of Northwest Interfaith Movement began as the first community-based victim services program in Philadelphia. The Community Safety Program became an independent nonprofit organization incorporated under the name of Northwest Victim Services (NVS) in 1986. Six additional community-based victim service agencies in Philadelphia have modeled their organizations after NVS and all of these programs have relied on NVS for technical assistance and expertise. During its first year as an independent agency, NVS provided service to 800 crime victims in the 14th police district. The number of victims served, as well as the type of services provided, have grown over the last 30 years. Services provided include crisis/supportive counseling, court accompaniment, financial assistance, and information/referral. In addition to providing services to crime victims, NVS provides community programs to increase safety and knowledge of NVS services. NVS works closely with local/citywide community groups and agencies including the District Attorney’s Office, police, and other government and social services agencies NVS also plays an active role in the Philadelphia Coalition for Victim Advocacy and several state and local community task forces.

Introducing the NVS team

Kwaminah Greer

Kwaminah Greer

“Keep Hope Alive.” -Jessie Jackson, 1988

I could have easily chosen a brilliant quote previously spoken by Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, or even Forever First Lady Michelle Obama, to name a few. Instead, I chose to quote Jessie Jackson, from 1988 when he stated, “Keep Hope Alive" I am, Kwaminah Greer, Victim Advocate for Northwest Victim Services. Affectionately known in the various communities in the great City of Philadelphia, I serve families/victims of crimes which is the present and forever evolving embodiment of HOPE! I will forever keep hope alive, even to this day.

The human spirit that I possess as a Victim Advocate;
*Pure intentions
*Love and affection
*Empathy and compassion
*Hope, tenacity and resilience and…
*A zenith level of professionalism.

My many years of serving family/victims have been nothing but a trailblazing/life lesson experience for me. Serving families and helping them get back to a sense of hope after losing a loved one to gun violence. Providing services at no cost to our families and ensuring them that we will do our very best to accommodate their needs.

My consistent love, hope, and desire for a safer, better/brighter future for all the victims I serve give our victims hope.

Our team here at NVS believes in providing quality care with compassion, empathy, and most important confidentiality to all that we serve.

La’Nita Harris

La’Nita Harris

Trauma Care Coordinator

I am La’Nita Harris. I am a mother of 2 who enjoys spending quality time with my family and loved ones. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Criminal Justice from Lincoln University and I am currently enrolled in Wilmington University to receive a Graduate Degree in Human Services Administration. I've worked in Child Welfare for Delaware County Children and Youth Services investigating Child Protective Service reports of suspected abuse and/or neglect. I’m super excited to begin working as a Trauma Care Coordinator for Northwest Victim Services and I look forward to joining the NVS team.


Clarence B. Iszard, MS

Trauma Care Coordinator

Clarence Bay Iszard is the Co-facilitator of the Einstein DadLab program. He is a Health Educator with A Better Start, an Einstein preventive health program that identifies challenges to health and wellbeing and develops programs to address those challenges.

Clarence was born and raised in North Philadelphia and has been providing service to others for over thirty years. During his career, he has had several professional positions including as Dean of Students; Youth Program Manager; Community Engagement Specialist; and he has held different roles at Einstein Healthcare Network where he has been employed for more than 18 years. Clarence has also worked as an Urban Behavioral/Educational Consultant for the past 25 years.

He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Education from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. He has also served on several community advisory boards, including Men for a Positive Change and African American Men Invested In Our Youth, and is the Past President of the Cheyney University Philadelphia Alumni Association.

Clarence has earned numerous awards including the Honor Thy Leader Award from the African American Inter-Domination Ministries for his work with at-risk youth and community stakeholders. He was also actively involved with Abington – Ambler Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. and was honored as the Chapter Brother of the Year for his tireless work and commitment to the Chapter’s mission.

He describes himself as a People Helper. Recently, his focus has been working with families who are dealing with food insecurities, homelessness and behavioral health issues where he applies his philosophy “Many Hands Lighten the Work"

Rysheda Elliott

Rysheda Elliott

Court Victim Advocate

I am a former drug and alcohol counselor, certified peer specialist, storyteller, facilitator, certified facilitator for the Philadelphia Prison System, Thinking for Change anger management facilitator, domestic abuse advocate, and now a court advocate. My belief is that we overcome so that others may overcome.

Tobi Downing, MS.

Tobi Downing, MS

Executive Director

“If we want a beloved community, we must stand for justice.” -bell hooks.

Tobi brings over 20 years of victim services experience to NVS. She has worked for nonprofit, government, and community-based organizations including domestic violence and sexual assault state coalitions in Pennsylvania and New York. Tobi worked at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office serving survivors and victims of crime for almost 10 years. In one of her two positions at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, she had the opportunity to co-lead the rollout and early implementation of a citywide outreach, intervention, and crisis response program for families of murder victims. In addition to her work with homicide survivors, she worked at the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault as the Associate Director, becoming one of the first Black women to do so in that state. In addition to her work with survivors of homicide, Tobi has maintained her passion for working with victims of domestic violence. In 2018, in response to an alarming increase in intimate partner homicides in the city, she hosted and facilitated a workshop and planning discussion to lay the groundwork for creating an Intimate Partner Fatality Review Team in Philadelphia

She has served on statewide task forces and committees in Pennsylvania and New York. Notably, she is a graduate of the Urban League’s distinguished African American Leadership Forum. She sat on the PA Governor’s Pathfinder Awards Taskforce 2017-2020. More recently, she was honored to be selected as a Fellow of the VALOR US (CALCASA) Leadership Education and Advancement for Professionals (LEAP) program in 2021. Tobi currently, serves on the Board of Directors of the Carole Landis Foundation - Action for Social Change as well as the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health’s Women and Girls of Color Political Leadership Workgroup. Tobi received her Bachelor of Arts from Temple University and her Master of Science in Human Services Management from Chestnut Hill College.

Tobi unapologetically centers community in her work to create equitable healing spaces that offer culturally responsive resources and services that are informed by the lived experiences of survivors.

Mission of NVS

To provide prompt, effective, holistic services to all victims of crime in Northwest Philadelphia while increasing strategies to elevate community safety.


To alter the way we treat victims of crime in Northwest Philadelphia.


To alter the way we treat victims of crime in Northwest Philadelphia.

Northwest Victim Services values six principles when aiding victims of crimes and the Northwest community.  These principles are Community, Empathy, Dignity, Reliability, Competence, and Confidentiality.

We practice each of these values in the following ways:

Community:  We strive to meet the needs of the individuals and the communities we serve.  We foster and utilize the community's support as partners to aid crime victims and reduce crime. Our Board and staff reflect the communities we serve.

Empathy:  We work alongside crime victims as empathetic allies.

Dignity: We empower clients to advocate for themselves, treating them as individuals and providing them with choices that reflect their individual needs.

Reliability:  We are present for clients and responsive to their needs, including providing information and resources to address questions if we do not have the answers.  We support staff so that they can reliably support clients.

Competence: We are trained professionals knowledgeable in the best practices in our field. We are a learning organization continuously seeking to improve our knowledge and skills to serve our clients and the community better.

Confidentiality:  We honor and uphold the importance of preserving client confidentiality.

Board of Directors

NVS Board of Directors


Patricia Fisher, President
Patricia A. Payne, Secretary
Kevin E. Raphael, Esq., Treasurer
Robert Coombe
Hon. Lori Dumas
Cristsandra Penn
Pedro Rodriquez
Mark Moore, Esq.

NVS Advisory Board


Tanya De’Voue Black
Dr. Joann Cozza
Derrick J.V. Sawyer
Nick Taliferro

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