FRANKFORT, Ky. – Gov. Matt Bevin and the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet have approved more than $192,000 in grants to provide victim services in Marshall County, where students and families are recovering from January’s tragic school shooting.
The funds – available through the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) – are part of two separate grants approved Tuesday by Gov. Bevin.
“The senseless school shooting that occurred in Marshall County on Jan. 23, 2018, ripped into the soul of the Marshall County community and was felt across our state and nation as well,” said Gov. Bevin. “We are grateful for these federal grant funds. They will be used prudently in support of the ongoing healing process. The Marshall County High School students, educators, families and friends are resilient and the citizens of Kentucky stand united with them.”
The first grant will provide $175,834 for a “floating” advocate to work with prosecutors and victims and help bridge service gaps in the area. The Kentucky Office of Victims Advocacy is administering the project.
The second grant – $17,147 for Four Rivers Behavioral Health – will pay for emergency crisis counseling for students, school staff, families and first responders.
The shooting at Marshall County High School claimed the lives of two students and injured many others. Approximately 300 students and 25 school staff members were reportedly within range to see or hear the attack.
In addition, the Justice Cabinet’s Grants Management Branch estimates that close to 1,375 individuals were immediately impacted by the violence, including first responders and friends and family members of the victims.
Since the tragedy in January, the Justice Cabinet has channeled more than $348,000 in VOCA funds to crisis and advocacy centers in Marshall County.
Gov. Bevin also joined with U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos earlier this month to announce a $138,000 Project School Emergency Response to Violence grant for the high school, which is assisting with recovery and student support efforts.