Governor Hochul Announces Availability of State Resources for Buffalo Community in Response to Horrific Shooting at Tops Supermarket

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced resources to support the Buffalo community in response to the horrific shooting at Tops Supermarket, including additional state investments, trips to local grocery stores and funding to cover funeral costs for the victims.

“The past 24 hours have been traumatic for New Yorkers, and my administration will spare no effort to ensure that the victims of this act of terrorism by a white supremacist receive all the resources and support they need.” , he added. Governor Hochul said. “The whole world is watching how we will come together as New Yorkers to overcome this unthinkable tragedy. Buffalo, my hometown, is the city of good neighbors and New York State will be good neighbors to them.”

Governor Hochul has ordered $2.8 million in federal and state funding to be made available to provide additional services and support to individuals and families affected by the shooting. The state’s Office of Victim Services (OVS) will administer funding for the state’s Criminal Justice Services Division and the state’s Community Violence Intervention Act, which annually designates a part of the state’s Federal Victims of Crime Act funding for programs serving the hardest hit communities. by armed violence.

OVS staff will be in Buffalo this week to help victims and families access financial assistance and provide information on how service providers can access additional funding to expand services and support for victims of violence. . OVS staff will be housed in a closed location accessible only to victims and their families to protect victims’ privacy and maintain confidentiality. The agency provides an essential safety net and can pay for expenses resulting from a crime when individuals have no other means of paying for them, including funeral and burial expenses, medical and counseling expenses, among other expenses, and can help victims and families who have lost wages and lost support.

The Office of Victim Services can cover funeral and burial expenses up to $6,000. The National Action Network has offered to cover any additional funeral costs for the families of the shooting victims, and New York State is coordinating closely to ensure the money gets to those in need.

Additionally, Governor Hochul announces a partnership with ride-sharing companies Lyft and Uber to provide rides to and from local grocery stores; the site of the shooting was located in a so-called “food desert” and served as the only walkable supermarket for many Buffalonians. Riders in ZIP Codes 14208 and 14209 can receive a ride to and from two local grocery stores: Top friendly markets (425 Niagara St., Buffalo) and Prize Rite (250 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo). Lyft passengers can use the code “BuffaloLyftUp” for up to $25 in the Lyft app. Uber riders can use the code “SHOPBUF” in the Uber app for up to $20 off a ride, with a maximum of eight rides per customer.

The following OVS-funded programs can help victims and their family members file requests for assistance and also provide crisis counselling, support groups, advocacy and other services. All victims of crime and their family members are eligible for these services. Programs are also available at www.ovs.ny.gov/connect.

  • Erie County Medical Center: BRAVE (Buffalo Rising Against Violence at ECMC) and SNUG
  • Erie County Attorney’s Office
  • Center for Elder Law & Justice Inc.
  • Community services for all1
  • Erie County Probation Department
  • Buffalo International Institute, Inc.
  • Neighborhood Legal Services Inc.
  • Northwest Buffalo Community Center, Inc.

OVS provided more than $18 million in financial assistance to victims of crime and their families in 2021. New York is the only state in the nation that does not limit reimbursement for medical expenses or counseling, which means that individuals receive help for as long as they need it. this. Funding for compensation for victims of crime is generated by fines, costs and surcharges paid by certain persons convicted in state or federal court.

Governor Hochul reminds all New Yorkers of the state resources available for mental health support during this time of grief. All New Yorkers can contact the NY Project Hope Line at 844-863-9314 to speak with a crisis counselor, seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. NY Project Hope Line is a free, confidential crisis hotline for mental health support that connects New Yorkers to the resources they need. Additionally, staff from the State Office of Mental Health and the State University of New York will be available to provide counseling and support to those affected by this tragedy.

Lance B. Holton