Newtown Receives $7M Grant for Many Victims of Sandy Hook Shooting

Connecticut delegation announces $7.1 million grant to support mental health services in Newtown.

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Victims of Crime has awarded a $7.1 million grant to Newtown to support the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook, including family, first responders and members of the community.

Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) and Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn) announced the grant Tuesday.

The funding will support new mental health services, specifically longer-term counseling for families, law enforcement, and first responders, as well as school safety efforts. It will also help reimburse ongoing services.

“This grant will provide much-needed relief and support for Newtown to help this brave community heal,” Esty said. “The community of Newtown has faced unimaginable tragedy with incredible strength and resiliency. Survivors, families, law enforcement, and first responders deserve sustained counseling services and enhanced school safety resources, and I’m grateful to the Department of Justice for responding with continued support.”

“I remain in awe of the entire Newtown community for its strength, compassion and resiliency in the face of unspeakable tragedy,” Blumenthal said. “For those who lost loved ones, and for the students, educators and first responders who witnessed the unimaginable horror at Sandy Hook Elementary School, recovery may require continued services.”

“Newtown Youth and Family Services (NYFS) is very appreciative of the Connecticut congressional delegation for assisting in securing Federal AEAP Office of Victim Services grant funding,” Candice Bohr, Executive Director of Newtown Youth and Family Services, said. “We recognize this is a step in the long process of recovery. Since the tragedy, NYFS has increased its staffing capacity and has witness the client population quadruple in the last 18 months. We anticipate seeing a continued need in services and funding related to mental health, and we are committed to providing the continued support the town, the school district, and the families of the community need.”

Last year, Newtown community received a $1.5 million grant from the Office for Victims of Crime. Additionally, the Newtown Public School District received $3.2 million through the U.S. Department of Education’s School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) program in 2013 and 2014.

“It’s our responsibility to do everything we can to help the Newtown community rebuild and recover,” said Murphy. “Victims, witnesses, and first responders in Newtown need comprehensive mental health and counseling services to help them cope with this tragedy, as well as improved school security to prevent future tragedies. Thankfully, the funding announced [Tuesday] will provide robust additional support for these critical services, and I thank the Department of Justice for answering our call for further assistance.”

“But while this grant will go a long way to help the people of Newtown, they will continue to need our support in the coming months and years,” Murphy added. “Newtown will be recovering for a long time, and I will work tirelessly to support them every step of the way.”


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