Erie County offers counseling and food aid to Buffalo community after mass shooting
County officials say they are mobilizing services, support and guidance for those affected by Saturday’s mass shooting at Tops grocery store on Jefferson Avenue.
BUFFALO, NY – Erie County is offering support to the Buffalo community following Saturday’s mass shooting at Tops Grocery on Jefferson Avenue. County officials say it is mobilizing services, support and counseling for those affected by the shooting.
Erie County will provide mental health and counseling services to the community following this trauma. In addition, county officials say food aid is also being provided to community members, as well as services and support for family members of victims.
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All Buffalo community residents or family members looking for support can visit the Johnnie B. Wiley Sports Pavilion for free mental health and trauma counseling on Sunday, May 15 or Monday, May 16 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Services for children will also be available. Depending on the department, no appointment is necessary.
Those unable to make it to the Johnnie B. Wiley Sports Pavilion during designated hours and are encouraged to call Crisis Services at (716) 834-3131 for assistance.
The county notes that online interpretation services will also be available for those who speak Arabic, Burmese, Cantonese, Farsi, French, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Hmong, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian. , Somali, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese.
Those in need of food assistance can go to the Resource Center at 347 East Ferry Street in Buffalo. Food will be distributed to community members on Monday, May 16 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. After Monday, food will then be distributed at the Resource Center from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. until at least Friday, May 27.
According to the county, the food will be provided by Tops Friendly Markets, WNY’s Resource Center and FeedMore. Additional support will be provided by the American Red Cross.
Additional assistance is underway to support the families of victims affected by the shooting. The Erie County District Attorney’s Office and other programs funded through the New York State Office of Victim Services are working to access compensation programs to help families affected by the shooting. For more information, family members can call (716) 858-2400. The number provided is answered live Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Messages left outside the stated hours will be monitored.
Family members of victims may also be eligible for assistance with funeral expenses. Family members are asked to call the NYS Office of Victim Services for more information at 1-800-247-8035 or visit this link: https://ovs.ny.gov/.