Queens District Attorney Richard Brown’s Office received one grant totaling $152,370 for one case manager in Kew Gardens.
By Forum Staff
Dozens of State-funded crime victim-assistance programs will receive approximately $20.4 million over three years to hire case managers to help streamline and improve services for them and their families, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday as he kicked off National Crime Victims’ Rights Week in New York.
Funded through the federal Victims of Crime Act and State Criminal Justice Improvement Account, and administered by the New York Office of Victim Services, the grants allow 86 victim-assistance programs to hire or contract with 110 professionals who can coordinate services for victims and/or their families. The programs provide direct services to help men, women and children, including counseling, crisis intervention and legal assistance. Case managers will provide individuals with a continuous point of contact through which they can navigate and apply for assistance and obtain other resources, Cuomo noted, “as they start on their road to recovery.”
“These grants will support the addition of new staff at victim-assistance programs across the state, help the healing process for crime victims of all ages, and further our efforts to support a stronger, safer New York for all,” he added.
All 223 victim-assistance programs funded by OVS were eligible to apply for up to four case managers. According to the administration, the 86 programs that received grants met all the criteria in the request for assistance application. A total of 61 community-based organizations, hospitals and government agencies—including two in Queens—administer the 86 different victim-assistance programs that have received grants. Case managers will be funded for three years with an option for a two-year renewal.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown’s Office received one grant totaling $152,370 for one case manager in Kew Gardens; and Queens Legal Services Corporation also received one grant totaling $240,000 for one case manager in Jamaica.
“It is critical that important services be made available to crime victims and their families, and these funds will help improve needed programs that provide counseling, crisis intervention, legal assistance and other crucial resources,” said U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing).
According to the administration, case managers will coordinate and collaborate with the OVS Vocational Rehabilitation Unit, which helps crime victims who have long-term disabilities obtain assistance to improve their lives. In addition, case managers will help connect victims with legal assistance in civil matters, such as housing and immigration cases and Family Court cases involving custody, support and orders of protection.
Cuomo also pointed out that OVS compensates eligible individuals and family members for medical and counseling expenses, funeral and burial expenses, lost wages and support, and loss or damage of essential personal property, in addition to other assistance.
According to the agency, funding for crime victims’ compensation and the cost of OVS’ day-to-day operations comes entirely from the fines, mandatory surcharges, and crime victim-assistance fees that certain offenders must pay following conviction in state or federal courts.
“We want to help ensure that any victim who needs help receives it,” said OVS Director Elizabeth Cronin. “Through these grants, programs will be better able to direct crime victims to the critical resources they need to become survivors.”