NASHVILLE, TENN. - Jan. 1, 2021 - Catholic Charities, Diocese of Nashville, has received a $2 million grant from the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) to assist individuals, families, and business owners directly impacted by the bombing that occurred the morning of Dec. 25 in Nashville. The program is part of the Nashville Strong initiative involving a number of government and non-profit organizations in response and recovery efforts.
"We want to thank the FBI for making the VOCA funds available so quickly," said Catholic Charities Executive Director Judy K. Orr. "We will begin processing applications Monday morning, so we distribute the available funding as quickly as possible."
To qualify, applicants must have worked or resided in the impacted area in Downtown Nashville, which is defined as being bound by James Robertson Parkway, 4th Avenue North, Broadway, and the Cumberland River.
The types of assistance available to individuals and families include: ·
- Rental payment assistance for employees who lost wages or residents displaced from a primary residence·
- Utility payment assistance for employees and residents· Food assistance in the form of staples and prepared meals·
- Counseling to alleviate the trauma, anxiety, stress, and other emotional conditions·
- Replacement of technology used for work or school
The application is available online at www.NashvilleStrong2021.org
, a brand-new website created this week specifically for this purpose. Applicants will have to prove they lived or worked in the impacted area.
Catholic Charities expects to hire up to five people to manage applications, provide counseling, and help applicants navigate the many steps toward recovery.
Orr emphasized the importance of counseling, especially for a traumatic event like the explosion.
"We know from our work with the 2010 floods that the psychological impact will last years for some people," Orr said. "Traumatic events can leave significant emotional scars if people don't seek help."
The Catholic Charities team includes counselors experienced at working with victims of crime.
Catholic Charities recently helped screen applicants and distribute more than $1.5 million from the Nashville Covid Response Fund as well as CARES Act funding from State of Tennessee and Metro Nashville to those impacted by the Covid pandemic. It was also instrumental in tornado recovery efforts for North Nashville.
About Catholic Charities, Diocese of Nashville
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Nashville, was founded in 1962 as the social service arm of the Diocese of Nashville. The organization serves people of every religious, ethnic, cultural, and racial background in 38 Middle Tennessee counties that comprise the Diocese of Nashville. Assisting more than 12,000 people per year, Catholic Charities provides a range of services that help clients through crises and toward self-sufficiency. Services include emergency financial assistance, counseling, job training, housing stability, hunger relief, and more.