The Justice Department has awarded a $16.7 million grant to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services to help with the recovery effort in the wake of the Oct. 1 shooting, including funding the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center, and victim and first responder support services.
“More than a year after the worst mass shooting in modern history...our community continues to face challenges responding to the needs of those directly and indirectly affected by the events of that horrific night,” said Rep. Dina Titus, a Democrat who represents the Strip, where the shooting took place. “Survivors, victims, their families, and first responders who put themselves at risk to save lives all need support, and I thank the DOJ for approving this request and helping Nevada meet their needs.”
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker made the announcement in a speech to state, local, and federal law enforcement in Cincinnati Friday morning, DOJ said.
Before the announcement Friday, the DOJ had provided about $3 million to cover expenses for state and local law enforcement in Las Vegas and in Clark County, according to Whitaker.
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat, also praised the funds.
“The DOJ’s grant will give victims relief and respite from mounting costs associated with their mental and physical recovery,” she said. “I thank the DOJ for aiding 1 October victims, the City of Las Vegas, and all those affected by this tragedy, on our path to healing.”
The grant will help support victims and close family members, medical personnel, coroner’s staff, taxi drivers, and others who helped the concert attendees. It will defray some of the costs of counseling and therapy, vocational rehabilitation, and trauma recovery for victims and emergency responders. Funds will also help with legal aid and supplement the massive outlays incurred by the Nevada victim compensation program.
The Vegas Strong Resiliency Center, a resource and referral center for residents, visitors and responders affected by the shooting, will also receive funds.
The grant comes after Titus and other members of the delegation sent a letter in July to DOJ in support of the state’s application for a Victims of Crime Grant through the Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program.
In the letter, the delegation said that the recovery will be long and requires continued support from the federal government.
“As survivors face physical and emotional recoveries and loved ones of victims cope with painful loss, we must do everything in our power to ease the burdens associated with this tragedy,” the lawmakers wrote. “A family having to bury a loved one should not also have to worry about funeral costs, medical bills, or accessing mental health services; and a survivor should be solely focused on recovery rather than how quickly he or she can get back to work to earn a paycheck.”
The Oct. 1 shooting took the lives of fifty-eight people and more than 850 people were injured after Stephen Paddock shot more than 1,100 rounds from a 32nd-floor window of Mandalay Bay into the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest music festival. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.