On May 14, 2022, tragedy struck the City of Buffalo as a white supremacist committed an act of terror at a local supermarket, killing 10, injuring others, and traumatizing a community.
Governor Hochul and New York State will be there for the City of Buffalo as they begin to heal. In addition to actions Governor Hochul is taking to tackle the crisis of gun violence that is hurting communities across the state, we are offering immediate support to victims and all those impacted by the horrific events of May 14.
If you have any information that could support the FBI’s investigation, please visit https://fbi.gov/buffaloshooting
In addition to statewide resources provided below, Erie County is offering services, support, counseling and more to residents in need.
Financial Assistance & Funeral Payment Support
Financial Assistance & Funeral Payment Support
National Action Network
The Office of Victim Services can cover funeral and burial expenses up to $6,000. National Action Network has offered to cover any additional funeral expenses for the families of the victims of the shooting and New York State is closely coordinating to ensure that the money is getting to those who need it.
Office of Victims Services
OVS staff will be in Buffalo this week to help victims and families obtain financial assistance and provide information about how service providers can access the additional funding to expand services and support for victims of violence. OVS staff will be set up in a closed location accessible only to victims and their families in order to protect victims’ privacy and preserve confidentiality. The agency provides a critical safety net and can pay for expenses resulting from a crime when individuals have no other way to pay for them, including funeral and burial expenses, medical and counseling costs, among other expenses, and can assist victims and families with lost wages and loss of support.
Agency staff will help individuals file claims to receive financial assistance for the following:
- Funeral and burial expenses: Up to $3,000 for an emergency award for these costs and up to $6,000 total.
- Medical and counseling expenses: No cap on the amount of financial assistance available to individuals and families, which allows victims and survivors to get help for as long as they need it.
- Lost wages and support, up to $30,000
- Loss of essential personal property, up to $500 for items necessary for health and welfare, like eyeglasses and clothes, includes $100 in cash.
- Moving expenses, up to $2,500
- Transportation to medical and other necessary appointments.
- Vocational and occupational rehabilitation
The Office of Victim Services is payer of last resort, meaning all other sources of assistance, such as medical or automobile insurance and workers' compensation, must be exhausted before the agency can reimburse victims or their family members for out-of-pocket losses related to the crime. An individual’s eligibility is not dependent upon an arrest or conviction in connection with the crime.
Transportation to Local Grocery Stores
- Tops is offering a free shuttle from the closed store to other stores nearby. It will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
- Governor Hochul announced a partnership with ride-share companies Lyft and Uber to provide rides to and from local grocery stores; the site of the shooting was located in a so-called "food desert" and served as the lone supermarket within walking distance for many Buffalonians.
- Lyft riders in the zip codes 14208 and 14209 can use the code ‘BuffaloLyftUp’ in the Lyft app to receive a free ride up $25 to and from two local grocery stores: Tops Friendly Markets (425 Niagara St., Buffalo) and Price Rite (250 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo).
- Uber riders can use the code ‘SHOPBUF’ in the Uber app for up to $20 off a ride* with a maximum of eight rides per customer.
*Max discount of $20 per ride, 8 rides per rider. While supplies last. Discount is valid for UberX and UberXL rides to and from select grocery stores in the Buffalo area and expires at 11:59 PM ET on 5/29/22. To activate the promo code, apply it in the Uber app prior to requesting your ride. Discount does not apply to surcharges, government fees, tolls, or tips and cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. For accounts with multiple valid promo codes, the promo with the highest savings will automatically apply to a rider’s next trip. Offer is non-transferable. Offer and terms are subject to change.
Ordering Food Online using SNAP Benefits
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program households in the area affected by the Tops Friendly Market closure in the East Side neighborhood in Buffalo, may also use their SNAP benefits to purchase groceries online for delivery at several area retailers participating in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Online Purchasing Pilot. These retailers include Dash’s Market locations in Buffalo, Amherst and Clarence; Price Rite; and Wal-Mart. SNAP households may also use their EBT cards to purchase groceries via Amazon.
Purchasers are, however, responsible for any delivery-related charges and may not use their food benefits to pay for these expenses. There are roughly 5,800 SNAP households in the area impacted by the market’s closure, following the shooting last month.
Free Grocery Delivery
To help those in need, the Walmart stores in Amherst and Cheektowaga are temporarily offering free grocery delivery for households in zip codes 14208 and 14209. Customers living in these zip codes will receive free delivery at checkout.
Food will be distributed to those in need by Tops Markets and FeedMore Western New York at the following locations:
Resource Council of Western New York, Inc.
347 E. Ferry St., Buffalo, NY 14208
Wednesdays, June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; July 6 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Johnnie B. Wiley Pavilion
1100 Jefferson Ave., Buffalo, NY 14208
Fridays, June 3, 10, 17, 24; July 1 and 8 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
World Central Kitchen is offering free lunch and dinner to families affected by the tragedy, first responders, police, fire, and others, at the corner of Jefferson Ave. and East Utica St. (in front of the Merriweather Library). Lunch is served starting at noon (12:00 p.m.) and dinner is offered starting at 4 p.m.
Mental Health Support
Mental Health Support
Trauma-Informed Support and Services
County District Attorney John J. Flynn, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York State Office of Victim Services and the Buffalo Police Department have established a community resource center to provide trauma-informed support and immediate services to impacted residents.
The Community Resource Center is located inside the Resource Council of WNY building at 347 East Ferry St. Buffalo. Anyone affected by the incident can drop by, any time during the following hours, no appointments necessary:
Monday through Friday: 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Saturday: 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The FBI provided resources to support this initiative, which will be available to all residents as long as it remains needed in our community.
Governor Hochul is reminding all New Yorkers of State resources available for mental health support during this time of grief. All New Yorkers can contact the NY Project Hope Line at 844-863-9314 to speak to a crisis counselor, seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. NY Project Hope Line is a free, confidential crisis hotline for mental health support that connects New Yorkers with the resources they need.
Additionally, staff from the State Office of Mental Health and the State University of New York will be available to provide counseling and support to those impacted by this tragedy.
Office of Victims Services
A team from the Office of Victims Services will be in Buffalo all week to assist victims and families and provide information about additional resources to support victims of violence for victim services related to this shooting.
The following OVS-funded programs can help victims and family members file claims for assistance and also provide crisis counseling, support groups, advocacy and other services. Any victim of crime and their family members are eligible for those services. Programs can also be found at www.ovs.ny.gov/connect.
- Erie County Medical Center: BRAVE (Buffalo Rising Against Violence at ECMC) and SNUG
- Erie County District Attorney’s Office
- Center for Elder Law & Justice Inc.
- Community Services for Every1
- Erie County Probation Department
- International Institute of Buffalo, Inc.
- Neighborhood Legal Services Inc
- Northwest Buffalo Community Center, Inc.
Support Victims & Their Families
Support Victims & Their Families
Here are opportunities to support the victims and their families.
- Donate to or volunteer with FeedMore WNY
- Give to verified fundraisers via GoFundMe
- Donate to the Thurman Thomas Family Foundation "For the Love of Buffalo" campaign
Text Buffalo to 20222 to make a $10 donation to go to both the Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund and the Buffalo Together Community Response Fund. This text can be repeated as often as the donor wishes to add to the amount given. AT&T has teamed up with the City of Buffalo to launch this text-to-give campaign. The Text-to-Give program is active for all mobile carriers nationally.
Black Love Resists in the Rust: Collecting donations for food and mental health support in conjunction with Colored Girls Bike Too.
Donate to Buffalo Community Fridges which is providing food and other items at 257 E. Ferry, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.
Give to Buffalo Go Green. They are working with the Buffalo Bills Foundation, Red Cross, African-American Food Co-Op, Council Member Ulysees O. Wingo and FeedMore WNY to deliver food and groceries to community members in need.
Catholic Charities: Collections this weekend and/or next at Masses in the Buffalo Diocese will support services to eight Catholic Charities locations on the East Side. You can also send donations to Catholic Charities East Side Collection, 749 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14209.
The Erie County Clerk’s office is accepting food donations for distribution.
All food pantries in the 14208 ZIP code are: Buffalo Community Fridge, Cold Spring Community Foundation (234 Glenwood), Community Action Information Center (103 Wohlers), Greater Works Christian Fellow (210 Southhampton), Group Ministries Inc. (1333 Jefferson), St. Luke AME Zion Church (314 E. Ferry) and Upper Room Church of God in Christ (131 Florida).
Candles in the S.U.N. are accepting food and other donations to be distributed daily
Rooted in Love Inc. The location at 670 Riley St. is accepting food donations, and you can donate online. Salon in the City and Southgate Liquors are accepting food and other donations in collaboration with Rooted in Love.
Sweat Society Gym and Unapologetic Coffee are accepting donations for Buffalo Community Fridge.
WNY Postpartum Connection Inc. are holding a diaper drive through May 27. Check social media for locations.
Governor Hochul has directed that $2.8 million in federal and state funding be available to provide additional services and support to individuals and families affected by the shooting. The state Office of Victim Services (OVS) will administer the funding from the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, and the state’s Community Violence Intervention Act, which annually designates a portion of the state’s federal Victims of Crime Act funding for programs serving communities hardest hit by gun violence.
OVS provided more than $18 million in financial assistance to victims of crime and their families in 2021. New York is the only state in the country with no limit on reimbursement for medical bills or counseling, which means individuals receive help for as long as they need it. Funding for crime victims’ compensation is generated by fines, fees and surcharges paid by certain individuals convicted in state or federal court.
The state’s Community Violence Intervention Act annually designates a portion of the state’s federal Victims of Crime Act funding for programs serving communities hardest hit by gun violence. OVS has already awarded $8.36 million in CVIA grants, including $430,000 to Erie County Medical Center for its BRAVE (Buffalo Rising Against Violence at ECMC) and SNUG programs.
BRAVE and SNUG are among the victim assistance programs in Buffalo funded by the Office of Victim Services. OVS will coordinate with advocates and staff from those programs to ensure coordinated, streamlined access to services and support.
OVS is payer of last resort, meaning all other sources of assistance, such as medical or automobile insurance and workers' compensation, must be exhausted before the agency can reimburse victims or their family members for out-of-pocket losses related to the crime. An individual’s eligibility is not dependent upon an arrest or conviction in connection with the crime.