Sandy Hook Two Years Later: Where Is The Aid Going?

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At a current assembly of the state’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, the mom of one of many 20 youngsters killed two years in the past stated making an attempt to get assist has been at greatest complicated, and at worst unimaginable, for a lot of households.

“It is absolutely disheartening after 23 months to hear of an impacted family with unmet needs. That is a tragedy and should not be happening,” stated Nelba Marquez-Greene, whose daughter, Ana, was killed. “Many of the supports that were advertised I have no idea where to get them or how to get them. In the end our own private insurance company paid for our mental health counseling and continues to do so.”

“So where is all of the mental health money going?”

A Courant evaluation has discovered that because the 2012 Sandy Hook faculty capturing, the federal authorities has given the city of Newtown and a number of other companies simply greater than $17 million in assist that has been used primarily to boost psychological well being companies and college safety.

Most of the cash has gone into all kinds of psychological well being and safety wants, a lot of that are designed to handle the broader influence on the neighborhood for a few years to come back. Grants from the U.S. Department of Education totaling $6.four million have been used to rent academics, mental-health practitioners, safety guards and different personnel for the varsity system.

The city of Newtown and the state obtained $2.5 million for police time beyond regulation prices by one in every of three Department of Justice grants. Private organizations have obtained tens of millions for remedy applications, administrative bills and even a public relations agency.

The federal grants are along with the $28 million that was raised by greater than 77 charities — that means that $45 million, in complete, has flowed into Sandy Hook within the final two years. About half of the charity cash has but to be spent — the state lawyer basic’s workplace in its remaining report on the Sandy Hook charities concluded about $15 million had been distributed with the remainder earmarked for memorials or future psychological well being wants within the district.

Much of the cash from the varsity grants has gone straight into the brand new Sandy Hook Elementary Schoolwhich reopened in a vacant faculty in Monroe. Two assistant principals have been employed for $128,000, seven new substitute academics have been employed to help the educating employees, safety guards have been added and extra nursing hours have been added to deal with the crush of holiday makers to that workplace. Records present there was practically a 20 p.c enhance in pupil visits to the nurse’s workplace within the month after the varsity reopened, in comparison with the month earlier than the capturing.

The funding began virtually instantly after the Dec. 14 shootings, when Adam Lanza walked into the Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 26 individuals, together with 20 first-graders, earlier than capturing himself.

Funding is scheduled to proceed till at the very least the center of 2016.

Where Is The Money Going?

Through Freedom of Information requests, The Courant has obtained grant functions and interim studies submitted by companies which have obtained funding. An evaluation of these information reveals:

•Two companies that obtained funding by the DOJ have been the native United Way, which initially oversaw the victims’ fund, and the Newtown-Sandy Hook Foundation, the group fashioned to take over the distribution of that fund for the United Way. Records present that the United Way spent virtually half of the $131,355 it obtained from a DOJ grant to rent the lobbying agency of Gaffney, Bennett and Associates to deal with public relations. The Sandy Hook Foundation used $122,000 of federal cash to rent an govt director.

•The DOJ cash has funded two separate resiliency teams. The town-operated Newtown Recovery & Resiliency Plan is getting $826,443 by the most recent 18-month DOJ grant. Records present greater than $618,000 of that’s going to rent at the very least 4 full-time staffers, together with a neighborhood outreach liaison with a wage of $110,000, a venture supervisor at about $73,000 and a case supervisor at about $61,000. The second group, a non-profit referred to as the Resiliency Center of Newtown, is getting $501,000 from the second DOJ grant; of that, $408,000 is for salaries, together with $82,000 every to rent an artwork and music therapist, information present.

•One of the schooling grants paid for greater than 40 new school-system positions, together with seven steering counselors, 5 psychologists and 6 safety guards. Several new positions have been created to supervise the grant, together with $61,861 to rent a venture restoration director and about $32,000 to rent Melissa Brymer, aUCLA professor, to help the neighborhood in making use of for and implementing the School Emergency Response to Violence grants.

•The different massive school-grant expenditure was for out of doors companies introduced in to help the scholars and employees on the Sandy Hook faculty. For the primary yr, the Yale Child Study Center and Clifford Beers Clinic supplied psychological well being companies inside the faculty. Clifford Beers has now change into the only supplier.

Overall, about $1.three million from the three SERVE schooling grants is earmarked for mental-health suppliers working within the faculty. In the primary month after the varsity reopened, these suppliers assisted greater than 1,500 college students, information present.

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