JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown office of the Salvation Army has been tapped to receive two state grants totaling $356,402 to add two crime victim case workers, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.
The Salvation Army is one of 86 state-funded victim assistance programs which will receive approximately $20.4 million over three years to hire case managers who will streamline and improve services for crime victims and their families. The funding, which is administered by the New York State Office of Victim Services, will allow these programs to hire 110 case managers who will connect individuals with direct assistance to help them recover, including counseling, advocacy and civil legal help, among other services.
Currently, four case managers handle about 130 cases per year, according to Salvation Army Finance Director Jeremy Swanson. He said the two additional case managers will help more evenly distribute cases, which will improve services to the public.
“Their workload is quite daunting and they’re struggling to keep up with their caseload,” Swanson said. In addition, Swanson said the Salvation Army is looking to move into another building to better serve people. He noted the current offices are housed in a building built in 1865 and is not Americans With Disabilities Act compliant.
Case managers make about $33,000 annually, Swanson said. He said the grant is for three years.
“We look at what we are getting per year and how many people it will employ,” he said of the grant. He noted he has yet to receive official documentation from the state that the grant has been approved.
Among the services case managers offer through the Salvation Army, there is a program for advocacy and accompaniment to the courts, child advocacy and contact with mental health providers.
In addition, caseworkers will assist with submitting petitions for protective orders and custody applications.
“We serve all of Chautauqua County, not just Jamestown,” Swanson said.
Case managers also work with SUNY Fredonia, Jamestown Community College and Jamestown Business College on sexual assault and domestic violence. The Salvation Army also offers a 24-hour hotline and teams to provide emergency assistance within an hour or less.
Also provided, in addition to medical and legal management, there is crises intervention, counseling, safety planning, support groups and child care for those attending support groups, Swanson said.
Working with families in need is positive based Swanson said.
“We don’t say ‘This is your problem,’ we say ‘What are you doing right,” he said.
The Salvation Army Hotline is 1 800 252 8748.
In addition, Cattaraugus Community Action will receive four grants totaling $749,601 for five case managers in
“New York is committed to providing crime victims the resources they need as they start on their road to recovery,” Cuomo said. “These grants will support the addition of new staff at victim assistance programs across the state, help the healing process for crime victims of all ages, and further our efforts to support a stronger, safer New York for all.”
These grants allow victim assistance programs to hire or contract with professionals who can coordinate services for victims and/or their families. The programs provide direct services to help men, women and children, including counseling, crisis intervention and legal assistance. Case managers will provide individuals with a continuous point of contact, through which they can navigate and apply for assistance and obtain other resources..