$2 Million Disbursed to Victims and Neighborhood Groups in Wake of Super Bowl Mass Taking pictures

Surprised. Blessed. Overwhelmed. Already gone.

Those had been reactions from a few of the 20 gunshot victims from the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl parade shootings who had been awarded $1.2 million from the #KCStrong fund on Thursday, with people receiving funds starting from $22,000 to $100,000.

Chris Rosson, president and CEO of the United Way of Greater Kansas City, mentioned the payouts will assist these survivors even whereas recognizing that gun violence just like the Feb. 14 shootings occurs in Kansas City every single day, sometimes in low-income communities which can be already under-resourced.

“When launching the fund, it was important for us to support first and foremost direct victims of the violence of that day, but also to drive critical financial resources to violence prevention and response organizations, to mental health supports, into first responders,” he mentioned.

The shootings on the finish of the rally close to Union Station left 24 folks injured and one lifeless. Lisa Lopez-Galvan, 43, a mom of two and a well-liked Tejano DJ, was killed. 

Since the shootings, some victims and their families have incurred hundreds of {dollars} in medical payments for emergency room therapy, ambulance rides, ongoing medical take care of bullet wounds, or psychological well being counseling. Some are nonetheless struggling to return to work and are counting on a complicated patchwork of help from GoFundMe accounts and a gaggle of native church buildings.

Erika Nelson, whose 15-year-old daughter, Mireya, was shot in the chin and shoulder on the parade, mentioned that the cash from the United Way is a blessing however that her daughter nonetheless struggles with the bodily and emotional wounds of the violence.

“I don’t care how much money it is. It could be a million dollars. It could be a billion dollars. It’s never going to change what my daughter goes through every day,” Nelson mentioned.

The #KCStrong fund was launched by the United Way on Feb. 15, fueled by a primary donation of $200,000 made by the Chiefs, the NFL, and the Hunt household, which owns the group. The Kauffman Foundation and an nameless individual had been listed as the highest donors with $250,000 every.

The funds are unrestricted, to allow them to be used for medical payments, faculty funds for the youngsters injured through the victory celebration, or anything households want. Rosson mentioned the group believed the victims and the folks closest to them ought to resolve how finest to spend the cash.

“Giving unrestricted funding directly to those verified gunshot victims allows them to make the decisions that are right for them and their family and their path forward,” he mentioned.

Sarai Holguin, standing in entrance of her husband, Cesar, was one in every of 24 individuals who survived gunshot wounds throughout violence on the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl parade in February. The United Way of Greater Kansas City raised $2 million within the aftermath and introduced June 27 that $1.2 million will go to gunshot survivors. The remaining cash will go to neighborhood teams working to stop gun violence.(Christopher Smith for KFF Health News)

Kera Mashek, communications director of the native United Way, mentioned the cash falls below the umbrella of needs-based help and gained’t be taxed.

United Way labored with the Jackson County, Missouri, Prosecutor’s Office to confirm victims. Only 20 of the 24 victims had been compensated as a result of two didn’t apply and a 3rd turned down the donation, United Way officers mentioned. A fourth, unnamed sufferer was denied funds as a result of he’s linked to the legal case, based on Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker.

None of the victims had been named within the June 27 announcement.

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Emily Tavis mentioned she felt “beyond blessed and overwhelmed with appreciation” to obtain the help. Tavis; her associate, Jacob Gooch Sr.; and stepson, Jacob Gooch Jr., were all shot on the parade.

“It’s a huge relief that bills are going to get caught up and paid and then some,” Tavis mentioned. She had already began paying off bank card payments along with her portion of the payout.

Antonio Arellano, whose 11-year-old son, Samuel, was shot within the facet, mentioned the cash was a “really big help” for the household. 

He mentioned Samuel is hoping for a trip to Florida and season tickets to see the Chiefs play soccer. But being in giant crowds continues to be troublesome for Samuel, so Arellano mentioned they’ll strive attending one sport first to see the way it goes.

James Lemons, who lately had the bullet lodged in his leg removed, mentioned he appreciated the help and feels blessed, but additionally feels as if the cash is already gone. He needs to pay again the help the household acquired within the aftermath of the taking pictures, together with cash he borrowed to assist them relocate after their landlord bought their rental residence quickly after the parade.

So far, three adults and three minors have been charged within the shootings, together with three males who face federal charges of trafficking illegal guns or mendacity to FBI brokers. 

More than 80 folks had been trampled within the melee after the shootings, Baker mentioned, including that also they are among the many many victims of the assault. They won’t, nonetheless, obtain cash from the fund.

Chris Rosson (left), president and CEO of United Way of Greater Kansas City, and Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker on June 27 introduced how the $2 million in #KCStrong funds can be disbursed to twenty gunshot survivors of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade. Fourteen neighborhood teams will even be receiving cash.(Peggy Lowe/KCUR 89.3)

Campaigns like #KCStrong that emerge within the wake of mass shootings should stability distributing the cash broadly sufficient to incorporate folks straight affected with out dissipating the accessible assets, based on Jeff Dion of the Mass Violence Survivors Fund. The nonprofit group has helped communities throughout the nation distribute such funds.

The OneOrlando Fund, which emerged after the Pulse nightclub taking pictures in 2016, for instance, made a range of payments, together with $350,000 to the households of every of the 49 folks killed, but additionally $25,000 every to 182 individuals who had been on the nightclub however weren’t bodily injured. That fund raised $29.5 million in contrast with the $2 million raised in Kansas City.

The $31.4 million fund that emerged in Las Vegas in 2017 after a mass taking pictures at a live performance with 22,000 attendees did not include payments to individuals who weren’t injured. As many as 1 million folks attended the Super Bowl parade in February.

“When you’re dealing with actual dollars, you have to find a way to be able to serve the most people with the most amount of money,” Baker mentioned. “So I think that was probably some of the decisions that had to be reached in this case, which is difficult, hard, but also necessary.”

The neighborhood teams, which every acquired $59,410, are: AdHoc Group Against Crime; Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City; Center for Conflict Resolution; Guadalupe Centers; Kansas City Metropolitan Crime Commission; KC Common Good; KC Mothers in Charge; Lyrik’s Institution; Newhouse Domestic Violence Shelter; Rose Brooks Center; Transition Zone; The Battle Within; Uncornered; and University Health.

Other efforts have directed cash to survivors of the Super Bowl parade taking pictures as effectively. GoFundMe accounts have raised $667,785. A faith-based group known as “The Church Loves Kansas City” raised $184,500 and to date has spent greater than $50,000 in funeral bills, medical procedures, counseling, and dwelling bills, mentioned Gary Kendall, one of many leaders.

Bram Sable-Smith:
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