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Community Group Sets Up Navy Yard Victims’ Fund

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(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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McLEAN, Va. (AP) — A community group is establishing a fund and raising money to help the families of those killed in Monday’s shooting at the Washington Navy Yard.

District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray announced the fund Wednesday, which will be run by The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, a nonprofit group.

That foundation also administered a victims’ fund following the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon.

Foundation President Terri Lee Freeman said two distinct funds are being established. One will provide direct support to those who were injured and to the families of the 12 people who were killed. A second fund will support nonprofit organizations that offer mental health services and work to reduce gun violence.

Freeman said everything donated to the victims’ fund will go directly to the families. The amount that families receive will depend on how much is raised.

She said she expects the fund for the Navy Yard shootings will operate on a smaller scale than the $25 million Sept. 11 fund, which operated through 2008 and not only provided benefits to victims’ families and survivors but also provided benefits like providing job training for first responders who were so traumatized by their work that they moved into other careers.

The second fund, she said, will provide grants to other nonprofits that seek to reduce day-to-day violence that occurs as a result of mental-health problems and gun violence.

She said she envisions that fund to help find long-term solutions that outlast the cycle of outrage that follows mass shootings like the Navy Yard killings before inevitably dissipating.

“We all know that on a daily basis that violence is occurring in our communities and that there are people walking around with serious mental health issues,” she said.

The foundation is the largest funder of nonprofit groups in metropolitan Washington, providing $90 million annually in grants.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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