BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Governor Kathy Hochul announced Friday that more than $1.4 million in funds that will go towards supporting mental health programs in East Buffalo following the Tops supermarket shooting last year.
The grant will provide $1 million to go towards establishing ‘Reimagine: I am the Change,’ a fund that will support grassroots, community-based initiatives to help for culturally relevant mental wellness and healing practices.
An additional $363,250 will support the Black Mental Health Response Team, a team of Black clinicians and other mental health staff to provide fast access to mental health outreach and engagement.
It also provides more than $116,000 towards a psychological initiative called ‘Psychological First Aid Train-the-Trainer,’ which will train residents to help others deal with emotions following a tragic event.
“As members of the East Buffalo community continue to heal from the Tops Market Shooting, we remain committed to taking on systemic challenges to help recover and build back stronger,” Governor Hochul said. “Many of these individuals continue to deal with the stress, fear, anger and feelings of hopelessness caused by this tragedy. The programs funded by these awards will help this community heal and recover from the stress and shock they continue to experience from this horrific shooting.”
“The tragic, hateful mass shooting at the Tops Market will never be forgotten on East Buffalo, and we must provide the resources needed for healing,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) said. “Buffalo is the City of Good Neighbors and nowhere is that truer than on the East Side. I will continue to fight to deliver the federal resources need to help neighbors help each other and take care of each other as we lay the foundation for a better tomorrow.”
Funding for the awards was provided through a $2.35 million emergency grant response from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to help East Buffalo residents.
Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.