CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Department of Justice's Office of Victims of Crime announced it is awarding South Carolina $29.4 million in grants for crime victim assistance programs across the state.
That money is coming to the state sooner than expected, since decisions about funding are typically made later in the summer, according to Lt. Kelly Hughes with the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.
The Office of Victims of Crime expedited the funding to South Carolina after learning of the Charleston church shooting, according to DOJ spokesperson Starr Stepp.
A portion of the grant money could potentially fund programs and services like grief counseling for the families of the nine victims of the shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church, Hughes said.
In certain situations, crime victims and their families can receive compensation for funeral expenses and other costs, but the grant money was not intended to go directly to the nine families of the Emanuel 9, Hughes said.
Victim assistance programs statewide submitted 158 applications for grants to the DOJ, totaling $14 million. The additional money beyond that amount could fund some programs for longer.
Organizations that have received grant funding in the past include MUSC, Family Services, Inc.; My Sister's House, the Dee Norton Lowcountry Children's Center, Charleston Orphan House, Inc. and victim advocates and service providers in the Ninth Circuit Solicitor's Office and the Charleston Police Department.