El Paso commissioners OK use of county facility for Resiliency Center

El Paso Strong

Center to provide services for victims of mass shooting

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — El Paso County Commissioners approved the use of a county facility for the Community Resiliency Center on Monday during their regular meeting.

The center is needed to care long-term for victims of the Aug. 3 Walmart shooting and assist them with applications for victims’ resources.

The One Fund El Paso, which is a combination of funds collected by the Paso Del Norte Foundation and El Paso Community Foundation was created as a financial vehicle for disaster relief and it has lessened the county’s governmental burdens, according to documents in Monday’s agenda.

The center will be available to offer services, including counseling, to those affected by the Walmart shooting.

On Monday, El Paso County Commissioners approved a resolution that would allow people to receive money as gifts, instead of income, which can be taxed.

Commissioners also approved allowing United Way to staff some offices at the county’s Community Youth Services Center on Delta Drive for the Resiliency Center if they find it to be the best option.

One Fund El Paso

The organization tasked with allocating the more than $5 million in funds collected through the Paso Del Norte Foundation and El Paso Community Foundation on Aug. 28 released a draft protocol, which outlines the process that victims could receive funds.

The protocol indicates that the earliest victims or their families would receive funding would be Dec. 16, after and an application process and fund administrators receive required documentation.

In total, 22 people were killed and 25 were injured in the Aug. 3 Walmart attack. Hundreds more witnessed the event or were directly impacted in the melee that followed.

The allocation of funds for eligible applicants falls into four categories:

  • Death benefits.
  • Individuals physically injured and requiring overnight hospitalization.
  • Individuals physically injured but treated on an emergency out-patient basis.
  • Individuals who witnessed the attack and its aftermath.

Funds for those who witnessed the attack and its aftermath are only available to people who were physically present at the Walmart or Sam’s Club or in their respective parking lots. Those who were at the nearby Cielo Vista Mall, which was also on lockdown for a period of time on August 3, are not eligible.

The National Compassion Fund was chosen to administer the funding and will handle the online application system.

As per the initial draft protocol timeline, Nov. 8 is the deadline for submission of Application for Benefits. The fund will stop accepting additional contributions on Nov. 25, and distribution plan approval will happen Dec. 11 with checks beginning on Dec. 16.

Community Meeting

One Fund Administrators will hold a public meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26 at Bonham Elementary School, 7024 Cielo Vista Dr.

During the meeting, a full explanation of the draft protocol and application submission process will be conducted. Input and comments from potential applicants and the general public will also be welcome at that time.

Information collected at the meeting will then be utilized to create a final protocol for fund distribution.

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