Local groups to receive crime-victims grants

ALBANY – Local organizations will receive part of millions in dollars in grants to pay for programs that provide services to crime victims.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo last week announced 179 community-based organizations, hospitals and law-enforcement and government agencies across the state will be awarded nearly $36.2 million in grants.

“When someone is the victim of a crime, they should have fast and easy access to services that help them recover,” Cuomo said in a news release. “New York must remain a leader in providing support services to crime victims, and this funding will help us meet that goal by ensuring that there are programs available in every corner of the state.”

Local recipients include:

Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson: $256,268 to assist all crime victims in Fulton, Montgomery, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Washington and Warren counties.

Catholic Charities of Fulton and Montgomery Counties: two grants totaling $201,523 to serve victims of domestic violence and other crimes in Montgomery County.

Family Counseling Center of Fulton County: $39,826 to serve domestic violence victims.

Fulton County District Attorney’s Office: $73,015 to assist all crime victims.

The grants, administered by the Office of Victim Services, will allow OVS to expand its victims’ assistance network by funding 22 providers not currently funded by the agency. Those providers will receive grants allowing them to offer a total of 25 new programs, which will provide comprehensive services to victims of all types of crime and specialized services for victims of child abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence, in addition to help for Native Americans and young black and Hispanic men between the ages of 16 and 24 – two groups that often face barriers to getting help. The 22 newly funded providers and programs will enhance services for victims in Bronx, Cayuga, Dutchess, Erie, Franklin, Kings, Monroe, New York, Onondaga, Ontario, Seneca, Suffolk, Sullivan Wayne, Washington, Westchester and Yates counties.

Elizabeth Cronin, director of OVS, said in the news release, “It is of paramount importance for victims to easily access services in their time of need. These programs will offer a multitude of essential support services – such as shelters, hotlines, transportation, counseling and advocacy – that are vital to crime victims. We also have expanded our reach to assist two groups of people that have been underserved in the past: young men of color and Native Americans. No one should have to face the aftermath of a crime alone.”

The 179 providers, which include nonprofit, community-based organizations, government and law-enforcement agencies and hospitals, will execute three-year contracts with OVS, with the option for one two-year extension.

U.S. Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, said in the news release, “Community-based victims’ assistance programs provide an essential community service ensuring that our friends and neighbors can get the support they need to recover from violence and tragedy. I applaud the governor’s decision to provide this funding and support.”

U.S. Rep. Paul D. Tonko, D-Amsterdam, said in the news release, “I am pleased to see this support for victims services in the Capital Region and throughout the entire state. When we strengthen our communities in this way, we increase the quality of life for everybody.”

U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson said in the news release, “As a strong supporter of our local law enforcement and social services providers, I appreciate the state’s commitment to funding these vital programs.”