Abbott announces resources, benefits for families, community after Uvalde school shooting

·2 min read
Dario Lopez-Mills/AP

The families of the victims in the Tuesday school shooting in Uvalde that killed 21 people will not have to pay for funerals, health care, mental health care, food or travel expenses for family coming from out of town in the wake of the attack, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said at a news conference Friday.

State agencies will help the families of those killed and victims who survived with bills and expenses for an unspecified amount of time. Airfare, lodging, gas and other expenses for family members coming from outside the area will also be covered, Abbott said.

Air travel will be provided through American Airlines and United Airlines.

Abbott said the state is covering emotional, mental and health care costs, as well as helping families receive unemployment benefits. The state has set aside money to help them buy food and cover other bills.

Abbott said services and benefits will be accessible to families of victims, those experiencing physical and emotional health problems or crises, Robb Elementary employees and students and anyone else directly affected at Family Assistance Center at the Uvalde County Fairplex. They include:

  • Crime victim services

  • Mexican Consulate services

  • Death benefits

  • Counseling and spiritual care

  • Funeral services

  • Child care and family services

  • Transportation

  • Translation

  • Translation services

Each family will be assigned an advocate to help them find the right resources that are available, including arranging flights for family members.

The state has set up the Robb School Memorial Fund through One Star, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit established after Hurricane Harvey to assist the victims of the storm. Abbott said the foundation has no overhead costs and that 100% of the money donated will “go directly to the victims of this horrible crime.” Many of the services provided to the community, victims and families will be paid for in part by donations through One Star, Abbott said.

An anonymous donation of $175,000 made Thursday will be used to cover all funeral costs, Abbott said.

Free mental and emotional health service can be accessed by calling 888-690-0799. or going to one of the resource centers, set up at Uvalde County Fairplex and Uvalde Civic Center. Resources include those available from state agencies, the district attorney’s office, the FBI and the Red Cross.

The Uvalde District Attorney’s Office’s victim services can also be reached by phone at 830-278-2916.

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