Feds give nearly $8.5 million to assist Pulse nightclub victims

Victims and first responders at the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando last year are set to get some assistance, in the form of an $8.5 million grant from the federal government.

Carlo Allegri/Reuters/File
Investigators work the scene following a mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on June 12, 2016.

The federal government will spend nearly $8.5 million to cover emotional and financial aid to the victims and first responders impacted by the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting. 

The shooting, which occurred last June at a gay nightclub called Pulse, left 49 people dead. Gunman Omar Mateen pledged his allegiance to the radical terrorist group the Islamic State before opening fire and carrying out the deadliest shooting in recent US history.

The Justice Department announced Monday it will give the funds to the State of Florida to fund grief counseling for survivors and the family members of victims. The money also serves to reimburse the state for costs associated with operating an assistance center set up following the shooting, the department’s Office for Victims of Crime said.

“This award will reimburse victim services costs for operation of the Family Assistance Center in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, and ensure that victims, witnesses and first responders receive necessary services to help them adjust in the aftermath of violence, begin the healing process and cope with probable re-traumatization,” Marilyn McCoy Roberts, the office's acting director, said in a statement.

Mr. Mateen was killed after a three-hour standoff with police following the incident. In addition to the 49 people shot dead, dozens of survivors sustained injuries.

The state is slated to receive the money from the Justice Department on Wednesday. 

Federal grants such as this are common in the wake of mass tragedies that can leave local officials grappling with the fallout for months. The government doled out funds following the 2015 San Bernardino shooting, in which two shooters opened fire on a California-run facility that caters to adults with disabilities, killing 14 people.

It did the same in the aftermath of the Charleston, S.C., church shooting, in which white supremacist Dylann Roof shot and killed nine black parishioners who had gathered for Bible study.

This report contains material from Reuters and the Associated Press.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.