Crime victims in our area getting more help, big money on its way

Posted at 5:33 PM, Oct 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-09 13:59:50-04

Good news for people who've been dealing with some terrible situations involving crime. A new announcement today revealed new initiatives to help victims.

The announcement is coming from the Ohio Attorney General's Office. Friday, Mike DeWine unveiled nearly $80 million are going to crime victim service organizations.

It's all a part of the "Ohio Attorney General's Expanded Services and Empowering Victims Initiative." $79.5 million total are going to 356 crime victim service providers across Ohio. $25 million of that are going toward domestic violence victims, $20 million to victims of sexual assault, and $14 million to abused children.

One of those organizations benefiting from today's announcement is Welcome House Inc. Located in Westlake. More than $370,000 will be spent on a program that works with victims who have developmental disabilities and specifically those coming out of foster care. "(The announcement) certainly made our day,” said Welcome House Executive Director Tony Thomas. “And what's more important is that it's going to help young adults with developmental disabilities achieve some level of independence and success in the community. We're excited about it."

It will help Welcome House establish a home for those people in need. "Food is included. Rent is included. The individuals will not have to pay rent,” said Welcome House Executive Director Tony Thomas. “We're going to try to make it easy for them to gain independence, save a little money, and really, on the back end, help them find a job in the community as well."

The overall funding from this grant is from the U.S. Department of Justice. That money comes from federal settlements, fines and fees.

Rape victims in our area are also about to have a new avenue for assistance. Leaders with the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center told us the money they're getting will make our region healthier, safer and stronger.

The AG’s Office said two different grants will give the center $3.1 million. The money will be used to open a new regional office in Westlake to help survivors of rape on the west side of Cuyahoga County get services closer to home.