The Family Support Center is operational at the fairplex

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The Family Support Center at the Uvalde County Event Center at the Fairplex, 215 Veterans Lane, offers a multitude of services to staff and students at Robb Elementary School, as well as survivors and families of the 21 victims of the horrible school of May 24. filming.

Counseling and mental health services, including white noise machines and FBI crisis response K-9s, free attorney consultations, translation and transportation services, as well as childcare provided by partner agencies that have passed background checks, are all available free of charge at the fairplex.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are also served. Bluebonnet Children’s Advocacy Center representatives also provide services.

It’s the one stop shop,” Staci Beers said with the FBI Office for Victim Assistance.

One thing they currently require is accommodation, and anyone who has a campervan that they are willing to allow use and can bring to the fairplex is asked to call the fairplex staff at 830-591-9040.

There are lots of resources here. So what happens, the victims will come, we will sit quietly with them, we will assess their needs. Are they looking for financing for petrol cards? Do they need gift cards for Walmart, because they have a lot of families coming? Do they need transportation? »

Beers said many airlines, including JetBlue, Southwest, American and United, have offered flights to the victim’s family members, and fairplex agencies can help coordinate that.

She said Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance agents, who insure most teachers in Uvalde, are available to help ensure there are no gaps in coverage and provide access to services. telehealth if necessary.

Representatives from the Mexican consulate, as well as translators, are on hand to help the families.

The Red Cross and Salvation Army have vouchers for loved ones of the deceased, as well as injured victims, similar to debit cards that can be used for various expenses; and the Crime Victims Compensation Program with the Texas Attorney General’s Office is on hand to help process claims.

Beers said families can come and meet one-on-one with a trauma-trained claims specialist who will process their claim while they wait, reducing the wait time from about seven days to about an hour or two. .

Beers said criminal injuries claims are essential for long-term care.

You know, we get an open app, and it provides all kinds of resources ranging from long-term counseling, medical assistance, mental health, I mean people will feel the impact for a very long time. Once that claim is open, it’s open forever,” Beers said.

The center, opened in partnership between the 38th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has already served more than 178 people since it opened on May 25.

It’s growing and we want to grow it even more,” Beers said. She said they hoped to serve the hundreds of children and adults who were at Robb School that day, students, teachers and staff.

No ID is required and there are separate counseling areas to ensure privacy. Access is monitored and media personnel are prohibited from entering the facility while it is in operation.

It is a sacred space for future victims,” Beers said.

The Family Assistance Center is open daily until June 1, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the fairplex.

K-9 Crisis Response

The FBI has two crisis-response dogs, Wally and his brother, Giovanni, on site to help ease stress and anxiety.

The K-9 siblings, both Labrador Retrievers, were the FBI’s first two crisis response K-9s when the pilot program launched in 2016. Wally is 8 years old, was born in Cinco de Mayo, and he and Giovanni started training for the job when they were six weeks old, Beers said. They are Assistance Dogs International certified. The team traveled all over the country, supporting people after events of mass violence.

Three other therapy dogs are at the scene, including Lupe and Dozer, airlifted with their handler from the San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office; and Beaumont, of the New Mexico Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, who drove up.

The five dogs will work at the center, available to comfort children and adults.

Services will be available to family members of the deceased, those with physical and emotional injuries, school faculty and staff, and all students,” said Christina Busbee, 38th Judicial District Attorney.

For more information, call the center at (844) 586-8336.

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