BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Those who are closely impacted by the mass shooting at Tops will be able to start applying for participation in the Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund on Tuesday.
“Some people still cannot go back to work. Some people are still in their house and still facing the nightmare of what happened on that day,” Rev. Mark Blue, president of the Buffalo NAACP and 5-14 Survivors Fund steering committee member, told News 4.
Victims and their families can apply and begin receiving money that was donated to help them three months after the horrific attack at the Tops on Jefferson Avenue. The 5/14 Survivors Fund has raised millions of dollars for those impacted.
The fund is organized by the National Compassion Fund. Alongside Buffalo community leaders, the organization created protocols for how the money would be distributed. The funds will be given out based on a tiered system with the largest portion to include families of the victims killed.
“There’s a lot of you know guidelines, categories and red tape and that stuff can be confusing, especially when people are going through trauma and everything else. It’s like applying for social services,” Myles Carter, community advocate, said.
“We realize with the severity of the injury, the severity of the trauma that we wanted to make it as fair as possible for people to access some of those funds because trauma is real,” Rev. Blue added.
Those who are eligible for money from the fund include people who:
- are heirs of those who were killed
- were shot and injured
- suffered another physical injury
- were at the Tops on Jefferson Ave. when the shooting happened
- were employees of the Jefferson Ave. Tops
While some were eligible for advanced payments, the application period for people in all five categories opens Tuesday at 4 p.m. It remains open through September 14th at 6 p.m. $4.6 million has been raised through the fund, which is administered through the National Compassion Fund.
Officials say a link to the online application will be accessible here. Those without internet access can call 855-4VICTIM (855-484-2846) for help with an alternative filing method.
The protocol for the fund can be found here.
Chris Horvatits is an award-winning reporter who started working at WIVB in 2017. A Lancaster native, he came to Buffalo after working at stations in Rochester and Watertown. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.
Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.