Emergency counseling and food assistance enters third week after Tops mass shooting | Local News

Emergency counseling and food assistance enters third week after Tops mass shooting |  Local News
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Emergency food and counseling assistance providers that quickly opened up in the hours after the Tops supermarket mass shooting on Jefferson Avenue on May 14 continue to extend their services as the community enters its third week of recovery.

The services are free and open to families and residents in need of assistance in the wake of the tragedy that left 10 dead. In some cases, the hours of services are being scaled back, though none is ending yet.

Free food distribution by FeedMore of WNY is continuing, and counseling and other community support services are continuing at both the Johnnie B. Wiley Center located at the stadium complex and at the Community Resource Center on East Ferry Street.

In-person counseling, grievance and spiritual support

• Walk-in services for both adults and children are being offered from 3 to 7 pm every day through Friday this week at the Johnnie B. Wiley Center, 1100 Jefferson Ave.

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These counseling services, coordinated by Erie County, are being provided by the staffs of Crisis Services, Spectrum, Best Self and Endeavor. Spiritual support and conversation is also being provided by the American Red Cross and other faith leaders.

The new hours reflect a four-hour scale-back from last week when the hours ran from 1 to 9 pm

Crisis Services continues to offer a 24-hour crisis hotline at 716-834-3131.

• In-person trauma support services are still being offered at the the Community Resource Center at 347 E. Ferry St. from 9 am to 1:30 pm and from 6:30 to 9 pm Monday through Friday, from 2 to 6 pm Saturday and from 9 am to 4 pm Sunday.

This location is also providing community banking, bill-paying and other services, and has translation phone services for many languages, including Arabic, Burmese, Somali and Spanish. The center will be closed on Memorial Day.

These victim services are provided by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York State Office of Victim Services and the Buffalo Police Department.

FeedMore WNY, which opened two emergency food distribution sites in the aftermath of the Tops shooting, is scaling back its operations at these locations but will still offer food distribution two days a week from 3 to 7 pm Locations are:

• Every Wednesday through July 6 at the Community Resource Center, 347 E. Ferry St.

• Every Friday through July 6 at the Johnnie B. Wiley Center, 1100 Jefferson Ave.

That’s a big change from when FeedMore and Tops were distributing food eight to 10 hours a day most weekdays, though there is discussion about restoring one additional day. Its regular food pantry sites also remain open.

The Tops supermarket chain also continues to run a free shuttle to its store on Elmwood Avenue from 10 am to 7 pm until its Jefferson Avenue store reopens. The shuttle pickup and drop-off is at the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Riley Street.


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