The U.S. Department of Justice is awarding an $8.5 million grant to help the victims of last June’s massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub.
The grant, to be awarded Tuesday by the Department of Justice to the Florida Office of Attorney General Pam Bondi, was announced Monday by the office of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida.
Florida will get $8,466,970 to assist survivors and victims’ families of the mass shooting, which left 49 dead and 53 wounded, as well as to help witnesses, and first responders. The Antiterrorism Emergency Assistance Program grant, administered through the DoJ’s Office for Victims of Crime, will aim to ensure that victims, witnesses and first responders receive necessary services to help them adjust in the aftermath, begin the healing process and cope with re-traumatization, according to an advisory from the department.
The money also will be used to reimburse authorities for the family assistance center that Orlando, Orange County, Heart of Florida United Way, Florida and the non-profit foundation Orlando United established in the days after the massacre.
The Orlando United Assistance Center was initially opened at the Camping World Stadium in the days immediately following the tragedy, but was moved to a building at 507 Michigan Street later on, where it has remained, with funding set for 2017. There, patients have access to mental health care and other needs, such as referrals for housing and rental assistance, emergency financial assistance, employment, training and educational opportunities.