CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The U.S. Justice Department's Office of Victims of Crime has granted $3.6 million in funds for past, current and future services to the congregation of Mother Emanuel AME Church, survivors and family members of victims after nine parishioners were gunned down during bible study one year ago.
Officials say the money will be distributed among the nine agencies that continue healing the community in the wake of the incident, the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center at the Medical University of South Carolina, Berkeley County Mental Health Center, Charleston County Sheriff's Office, the City of Charleston Police Department, the Charleston Dorchester County Mental Health Center, the Charleston Coroner's Office, the Charleston County Clerk of Courts and the Ninth Judicial Circuit Solicitor's Office.
"These remarkable families, surviving witnesses and church members, as well as first responders and Charleston, have received widespread recognition for their grace and resilience," Dean G. Kilpatrick, PhD., co-director of the service grant, NCVC director and professor of Clinical Psychology said. "Although admirable, it does not negate the fact that many individuals will need help, information, and assistance for an extended period of time."
The NCVC will be responsible distributing the funds to partner organizations for needed services, as well as reimbursing agencies for services already rendered in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Services that will be funded by the grant include:
- Limited victim-related law enforcement services
- Victim-witness notification and support services
- Services addressing crime-related mental health needs of direct and indirect victims
- Resiliency center services designed to meet the crime-related needs of the congregation
- Direct victim assistance services provided by the Charleston County Coroner’s Office
- Services designed to assist victims in preparing for and attending trial proceedings
"We commend the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center at MUSC and our federal, state and local partners for their extraordinary efforts to identify a long term solution for the victims' families, survivors and Mother Emanuel AME Church family impacted by the Emanuel 9 shooting," Reverend Betty Deas Clark of Mother Emanuel said. "Additionally, we thank the Department of Justice for making these funds available for this critical work."