Town leaders in Newtown, Conn. are seeking an $8 million grant from the Department of Justice to help pay for mental health services for people affected by the Dec. 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Newtown’s First Selectman Pat Llodra announced the grant request on Tuesday, and said that the money would be used to fund 18 months of counseling for families and first-responders to the tragedy, the NewsTimes reports. Gunman Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed 20 elementary school students and six adults in Newtown on Dec. 14, 2012 before turning a gun on himself.
The town leadership hopes to fund a “Recovery and Resiliency Team” made up of five professionals tasked with administering the mental health services. So far, counseling for more than 250 families has been funded by three local nonprofits, but their resources are limited and can’t provide the long-term support that town leaders say the community needs.
Newtown officials say they are optimistic the grant will be approved, and they hope to have the logistical framework by April.