Families of victims of Tuesday’s school shooting in Uvalde that killed 21 people will not have to pay for funerals, health care, mental health care, food or travel costs for the family coming out of town following the attack, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said at a news conference Friday.
State agencies will help families of those killed and surviving victims with bills and expenses for an indefinite period. Airfare, lodging, gas and other expenses for family members traveling from outside the region will also be covered, Abbott said.
Air travel will be provided by American Airlines and United Airlines.
Abbott said the state covers emotional, mental and health costs, as well as helping families receive unemployment benefits. The state has set aside money to help them buy food and cover other bills.
Abbott said services and benefits will be available to families of victims, those experiencing physical and emotional health issues or crises, employees and students of Robb Elementary, and anyone else directly affected at the Family Assistance Center in the Uvalde County Fairplex. They understand:
- Services for victims of crime
- Mexican Consulate Services
- Death benefits
- Counseling and spiritual accompaniment
- Funeral services
- Child care and family services
- Translation services
Each family will be assigned an advocate to help them find the right resources available, including arranging flights for family members.
The state established the Robb School Memorial Fund through One Star, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established after Hurricane Harvey to help victims of the storm. Abbott said the foundation has no overhead and that 100% of the money donated “would go directly to the victims of this horrific crime.” Many services provided to the community, victims and families will be paid for in part by donations through One Star, Abbott said.
An anonymous donation of $175,000 made on Thursday will help cover all funeral expenses, Abbott said.
A free mental and emotional health service can be accessed by calling 888-690-0799. or go to one of the resource centers set up at Uvalde County Fairplex and Uvalde Civic Center. Resources include those available from state agencies, the district attorney’s office, the FBI, and the Red Cross.
The Uvalde District Attorney’s Office Victim Services can also be reached by phone at 830-278-2916.