CHICAGO | A new nearly $275,000 Emergency Supplemental Victims’ Fund (ESVF) pilot program to ease the financial burden and trauma inflicted on those directly impacted by gun violence was announced by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday.

Under the plan, Chicagoans who lost a family member to gun violence can get $1,500 to cover funeral or burial costs. Victims who suffer a gun injury can get $1,000. Both families and victims are eligible for up to $1,000 in relocation costs, according to the release.

The initiative will start in five neighborhoods plagued by gang and gun violence — East Garfield Park, West Garfield Park, Englewood, West Englewood, and New City.

“Supporting victims and their healing is an integral component to our citywide community safety strategy,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “This program will enable the City to directly ease the immediate burdens that victims and their families face and will promote safe and healthy communities.”  

Since 2019, the City has made dramatic increases in investments in violence intervention programs. This pilot program is the latest in the City’s $52 million annual investment in violence interventions, which includes street outreach, victim services, interventions for youth at risk for victimization or justice involvement, re-entry, and other supportive services for those who urgently need them.

“We know that victims of gun violence need compensation most immediately following a tragic incident, and we are launching this program to give rapid relief to families and survivors to reduce the amount of trauma inflicted,” said Gregorio Martinez, interim Chief Coordination Officer at the Community Safety Coordination Center (CSCC). Martinez said the pilot program is a direct result of our collaboration with those in the survivor community, who are leading these efforts in the communities most impacted by violence. “We are committed to strengthening our partnership and working together to remedy the issue and heal our communities,” he said.

Individuals in need of the Emergency Supplemental Victims’ Fund should call and speak to a Victim Advocate at the designated lead organization below that is located in the community where the incident occurred. 

  • East Garfield Park: Breakthrough Urban Ministries, Inc., 773-722-1144 
  • West Garfield Park and New City: Institute for Nonviolence Chicago, 773-417-7421
  • Englewood: Universal Family Connection, Inc., 773-881-1711 
  • West Englewood: Centers for New Horizons, Inc., 773-373-5700 

For more information is available HERE.

The applicant will receive approval or denial within seven days of application submission. Approved applicants will receive funding directly from the Victim Advocate organization within 14 days. 

According to data from the Chicago Police Department, more than 600 homicides have been attributed to gun violence in 2022.

Cover Photo by Michael Förtsch on Unsplash

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