Neighborhood crime hurts all of us. Victims of crime often feel discouraged, fearful, and isolated. Reassuring support often helps people to recover more quickly from the trauma of a robbery, assault, burglary, or other crime.
Our Mission: to provide support and assistance in and outside the court room to victims of violent crime primarily in Center City Philadelphia.
We are a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting victims of violent crime in the 6th and 9th districts of Philadelphia. Our services are completely free of charge and every communication between victims and the Victim Advocates are subject to our confidentiality policy. Our services cover our “neighborhood”, which is between Poplar and South streets, and from the Schuylkill River east to the Delaware River.
Victims and witnesses who live in or were victimized in this area, or who find our location to be most convenient to them are all able to solicit our services. CCCVS works to reach all members of the community, regardless of race, sex, age, religion, or ethnicity.
Current Staff Members
Sherry Hunter, Executive Director
Sherry Hunter graduated from Northeastern University in Boston, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice in 1988. While in Boston, she worked for The Massachusetts Department of Corrections and the Governor’s Anti-Drug Task Force. Upon arriving to Philadelphia, Ms. Hunter joined the staff at Center City Crime Victim Services in 1989; two months after CCCVS’s inception. She was the court advocate and helped clients file claims for Crime Victim’s Compensation.
Ms. Hunter has more than twenty-years’ experience in assisting victims and witnesses of crime in Philadelphia; which made her the natural choice for interim director in December 2009. Since being her role as Interim director, Ms. Hunter has expanded the scope of Center City Crime Victim Services by hiring two multi-lingual advocates, which reflects the diversity of the neighborhoods CCCVS serves.
Li Feng Liao , Bilingual Victim Advocate
Li Feng Liao, (Lili, was born in rural Formosa, Taiwan, an island nation north of the Philippines. She grew up on her family's farm, helping with the rice harvest and planting sweet potatoes. She moved to America when she was twenty four and studied law at Temple University. Ms. Liao passed the NY Bar exam in 2010.
In March 2010, Ms. Liao began her role as a bi-lingual mandarin victim advocate, and acts as a strong liaison between the Chinatown community and Center City Crime Victim Services. She also spends time assisting the Mandarin-speaking immigrants in Philadelphia about social and health services.
Ms. Liao is married and resides with her husband in South Philadelphia.
Raphael Freeman, Bilingual Victim Advocate
Raphael Freeman was born and raised in West Philadelphia where, as a youngster, he spent most of his days on the playgrounds. Having spent most of his life in Philadelphia and three years at New York University pursuing a Master’s degree in Political Science, Raphael thinks of himself as the consummate city-boy. Ever the faithful promoter of the dynamism and adventure of the cosmopolis, Raphael is also intimately acquainted with the dangers and tribulations found oft therein. Driven by his belief that the good that the city has to offer should always outweigh the bad, Raphael is committed to helping people who have been trampled by the wayward currents of the city.
Current Board Members
Anthony Ingargiola, Board Chair
Anthony Ingargiola holds a Masters in Government Administration (MGA) from the prestigious Fels Institute of Government at The University of Pennsylvania. In 1991, Mr. Ingargiola came to Philadelphia as a staff member of Governer Ed Rendell's first successful mayoral campaign. Soon after, he began a successful career in government, public service and private sector leadership, including a role as Director of Economic Development for the non-profit Southwest Community Development Corporation.
Mr. Ingargiola spent the last two decades in Philadelphia committed to volunteering and community service, including his memberships in the Fairmount Civic Association, support of the Fairmount Community Development Corporation, President Board member and general member of the Friends of Eastern State Penitentiary Park, and Treasurer of the Friends Childcare Center. He is a parent leader at Bache-Martin Elementary School, a neighborhood public school where his son, Dante and daughter, Francesca are enrolled.
Leslie Gomez, Board Member
Leslie Gomez has jointed Ballard Spahr law firm in Philadelphia, and had been the Assistant Chief of the Juvenile Court Unit at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. She obtained a B.A in Law and Public Policy from Brown University in 1992, and a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1995. For six years, Leslie was assigned to the Family Violence & Sexual Assault Unit, where she prosecuted cases involving child abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault. Ms. Gomez primarily focused on cases involving extremely young and vulnerable children, children with disabilities, and children who were victims of long-term sexual abuse by a family member. In addition, she focused on cases involving repeat sexual offenders.
In June of 2006, Ms. Gomez was appointed as the Assistant Chief of the Juvenile Court Unit. There, she has been responsible for teaching young assistant district attorneys how to prosecute child abuse cases, and in particular, how to navigate the dynamics of child sexual abuse, both within the courtroom and without.
Ms. Gomez has dedicated the past ten years of her career to prosecuting child abuse. In addition to training and lecturing on issues relating to child abuse within the D.A.’s Office, Ms. Gomez has also lectured for organizations such as the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance, the Department of Human Services, the City Solicitor’s Office, the National Black Prosecutors Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, and local colleges and universities.
William Fritze III, Board Member
William Fritze III graduated from Michigan State University with a double major in criminal justice and political science prelaw and moved to Philadelphia as an Ameircorp volunteer. He helped to build the school-based mentoring programming for Big Brother Big Sisters of Southeastern Pennsylvania. From there, Mr. Fritze began working with Elwyn Inc., assisting children with Autism and other special needs. Mr. Fritze found his passion in public service through the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office as a Victim/Witness Advocate.
Allan Wong Ph.D., Treasurer
Allan Wong worked on blood protein research for several years before receiving his 1982 PH.D. in Environmental Biochemistry from the Uni- versity of Guelph in Canada. After retirement from the pharmaceutical industry he moved to Philadelphia and became involved with the Chi- natown community in 2008. In Philadelphia, he has acted as liaison officer of the Ning Yung Benevolent Association, Chinese Freemasons, and with the On Leung Chinese Merchants Association. He is commit- ted to social justice and has assisted his fellow community members in dealing with social, economic and paralegal issues. Allan was involved in helping Asian student victims of assault in high schools and was a vocal advocate against the violence towards Asian students at the South Philadelphia High School in 2009. He is also a member of the Mayor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs and the Vice-Chairman of the Philadelphia Police Asian American Advisory Committee.
Amy A. Pellegrino, Board Member
Amy Pellegrino is a life-long resident of the Philadelphia area. She studied Art at Kutztown University and was a hairstylist on the mainline for almost 10 years. She worked at Ballard Sphar Law Firm from 1992- 1997, and returned after her years as a hairstylist. Amy is currently employed at Ballard Sphar. She has contributed to many charities by participating in their numerous runs and races, some of which include Relay for Hope, American Cancer Society/Blue Cross Broad Street run, Brain Tumor Society Race for Life and others. Amy wanted to get involved with CCCVS after watching a previous board member’s work, and she too felt the call to help others. She feels honored and is looking forward to being a part of CCCVS Board.
Jim Birch, Board Member
Jim Birch has more than 40 years of experience in law enforcement and corporate and private security. Starting as a patrol officer with the Philadelphia Police Department in 1971, Jim then joined the United States Postal Inspection Service and served in various investigative, management, and executive positions in St. Louis, MO; New York, NY; Washington, DC; Philadelphia, PA; Memphis, TN; and Pittsburgh, PA.
He cites a major highlight of his federal career as his 9-year stint on Capitol Hill as the Inspection Service’s congressional liaison providing information to Congress on issues of forfeiture and search and seizure, relative to crimes impacting the U. S. Postal Service. Retiring from the Postal Inspection Service in 2003, he was selected by the National Constitution Center as their first Director of Security with the responsibility to develop and implement the security and safety program for the Center. Since 2007 Jim has served as the Director of Security and Life Safety for Liberty Property Trust for the Comcast Center.
Jim has served on a number of boards and committees, including the American Society for Industrial Security International’s Law Enforcement Liaison Council and Building Owners and Managers Association of Philadelphia’s Safety and Security Committee. He is also a longtime member of the Philadelphia Crime Prevention Council.
He holds a BA Degree in Criminology from Temple University and Master’s Degree in Police Science from Webster University, in St. Louis, MO.
Fundraising Committee/Development Committee
Theresa Marley, Chair Tracy Lewis
Maureen Holland Tanner Rouse
Eleni Bellisonzi Amy Pellegrino
Gregory T. Walker Chair