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Community Resources

All of us at Buffalo Toronto Public Media are heartbroken and shaken by the senseless tragedy that occurred in our great City on Saturday, May 14th. We are grieving with our community and are committed to helping it heal. Our thoughts are with the victims, their families, friends, and the employees and customers of Tops Friendly Markets.

Below are some community organizations offering help and assistance, as well as a collection of resources providing tips and guidance for individuals and families impacted by trauma and violence.

Click for Resources for Educators, Parents, and Caregivers

Crisis Services and Mental Health Counseling


Free Mental Health & Trauma Counseling Erie County in partnership with Best Self WNY, Endeavor Health Services, Crisis Services and Spectrum Health & Human Services. Counselors will be available through May 27 from 9 a.m.- 9 p.m. at a drop-in center at Johnnie B. Wiley Pavilion located at 1100 Jefferson Avenue. Family members and community residents will find free counseling, support and someone to talk to. No appointment needed, services for children are available and provided by Say Yes Buffalo. Counseling Services provide by Spectrum Health and Human Services, Crisis Services, Endeavor, and Best Self Behavioral Health.

Resources to find Black therapists: cliniciansofcolor.org, therapyforblackgirls.com, https://therapyforblackmen.org/ & https://www.therapyforblackkids.org/

Black Love Resists in the Rust is collecting a list of counselors who are opening their books to include more clients, provide support groups, etc. Here’s a link to their Twitter thread where they are collecting names, email addresses, phone numbers: https://twitter.com/BLRRBuffalo/status/1525895964220919808

Emergency Micro-Grants for Black People in Buffalo

Black residents of the City of Buffalo impacted by the mass shooting at Tops are encouraged to fill out the following form from Black Love Resists in the Rust (BLRR). The $500 micro-grants are available for mental health-related services.

DONATE TO THE 5/14 FUND

In partnership with Tops, the National Compassion Fund has established the Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund to provide direct financial assistance to the survivors of the deceased and those directly affected by this tragedy. Tops has seeded this Survivors Fund with $500,000 to get it started. 100% of the contributions donated to this fund will go directly to families of those deceased as well as those injured, and those who were present in the store and experienced psychological trauma.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/buffalo-survivors-fund

Buffalo Urban League

Black social workers are needed to assist impacted families. Please contact the Buffalo Urban League at (716) 240-2400.

FOOD DONATIONS

Buffalo Community Fridge The Buffalo Community Fridge is giving out food to the community at 257 East Ferry St. You can help stock the Buffalo Community Fridge by dropping off donations of fresh produce, milk, egg, cheese, formula, juice, water and labeled cooked meals at 257 E. Ferry Street. More information at https://www.facebook.com/buffalocommunityfridge/

Resource Council of WNY - Free food for community members will be available from the Resource Center at 347 East Ferry in Buffalo until at least Friday May 27. Free food will also be distributed at the Johnnie B. Wiley Pavillion at 1100 Jefferson Avenue between 1 - 9 p.m. The food is provided by Tops Friendly Markets, the Resource Center, and FeedMore of WNY with additional support provided by the American Red Cross.

FeedMore of WNY is asking for donations here: Donate to the emergency response fund by clicking here. They are also seeking volunteers at emergency food distribution events in Buffalo. Click the links below to register: Volunteer at the Resource Council of WNY distribution Volunteer at Johnnie B. Wiley Pavilion distribution

The WNY Peace Center is preparing to collect non-perishable goods for those impacted by the tragedy. Please reach out to Executive Director Deidra at 716-603-0015 or the Peace Center Google Voice at ‪(716) 253-1486 if you're able to help out.

African Heritage Food Co-op

The African Heritage Food Co-op aims to serve food deserts and give ownership back to the community to dictate what foods are available in their neighborhood. Click here to donate.

Buffalo Creek Academy

Sign up to participate in the Buffalo Creek Academy Food Delivery Program for free groceries delivered to your home: https://forms.gle/NHrzJAQtAJ8eEnLU8

Buffalo Go Green

Buffalo Go-Green aims to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to underserved populations and offer agricultural training and health and wellness programs. They operate an urban farm on Buffalo’s East Side and have plans for additional spaces to promote their mission. Click here to donate.

Candles in the S.U.N. 

Candles in the S.U.N. is offering free, fresh produce throughout the community at several locations (subject to change). Donate on Venmo @SaveUrNeighborhood or CashApp $SaveUrNeighborhood, or through Benevity at CITS Foundation Project #456809.

Every Bottom Covered

Donate and volunteer at the first and only diaper bank in WNY by clicking here. Need diapers? Visit Every Bottom Covered at the Delavan Grider Community Center (877 E. Delavan Avenue) on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between noon and 4 p.m., and Saturdays by appointment.

Dash's Market

Dash's is offering free online grocery delivery to those living in the affected area. Use code BUFFALOVE when you check out.

Western New York Peace Center

The WNY Peace Center is preparing to collect non-perishable goods for those impacted by the tragedy. Please reach out to Executive Director Deidra at 716-603-0015 or the Peace Center Google Voice at ‪(716) 253-1486 if you're able to help out.

Erie County Clerk Michael P. Kearns announced beginning May 17th, his office, along with the Auto Bureau branches, will be collecting non-perishable food items in an effort to assist the families and community affected by the senseless tragedy that took place in Buffalo. If anyone would like to assist in this effort, please drop-off any non-perishable food items: peanut butter, jelly, cereal, crackers, pasta, rice, canned goods (such as vegetables, soup, etc.) as well as any paper and personal care items: shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, bath and hand soaps, napkins, paper towels, toilet paper, tissues, laundry detergent, etc. No glass please.

These essential items will be delivered to Buffalo Fathers and Buffalo Peace Makers community organizations for distribution to the residents and families in the Masten District and surrounding areas over the next several weeks. Here is a complete list of drop-off locations:

Erie County Clerk’s Office- 92 Franklin Street, Buffalo

Erie County Auto Bureau- Rath Building, 170 Pearl Street, Buffalo

Erie County Auto Bureau- Southgate Plaza, 1088 Union Road, West Seneca

Erie County Auto Bureau- Sheridan Plaza, 2309 Eggert Road, Town of Tonawanda

Erie County Auto Bureau- Urbandale Plaza, 2122 George Urban Blvd., Cheektowaga

TRANSPORTATION

Lyft is offering $25 off rides to other grocery stores in the area for those who live in zip codes 14208 & 14209 when they use the code “BuffaloLyftUp” and Uber is giving $20 off for the same using the code “SHOPBUF” and it’s valid for up to 8 rides per person.

There is a free shuttle running from the Tops on Jefferson to the nearby Tops on Elmwood Ave. running from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily. People can get the shuttle at Jefferson Avenue and Riley Street.

NFTA-Metro is suspending fare collection on routes #12 Utica, #13 Kensington, #18 Jefferson, and #24 Genesee for the remainder of May. A map of the free routes, and grocery stores they serve, is here.

ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE

Muslim Society of Buffalo

The Buffalo Muslim community is coming together to stand against hate and violence by raising money for direct support of the victims of the attack. Raised funds will assist with funeral costs, medical expenses, and general support to the family. Click here to donate.

"You Matter" Fund

The Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers (BFNC) created the "You Matter" fund to help Fruit Belt and other East Side residents who shop at the Tops on Jefferson. This fund will address transportation needs to access other grocery stores and mental health services to heal from trauma. Make a donation on the BFNC website site at: https://bfnc.org/how-to-help/ways-to-donate or call (716) 856-0363.

Accessing Prescriptions

Those who use the Jefferson Avenue Tops pharmacy for their prescriptions can all (7160) 515-0050 to have them filled. Pharmacists who work at this location are now at the Tops on Elmwood Avenue for customers to contact. Arrangements can be made with the pharmacist for prescription deliveries to customers' homes.

The Erie County District Attorney’s Office, along with other NYS Office of Victim Services funded programs, is working to help the victims’ families access compensation programs. Family members can get more information at 716-858-2400, this line is answered live 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Messages are monitored at other times. All other calls at 716-858-4640.

Victims’ family members may also be eligible for compensation to help with funeral costs. For more information, contact the NYS Office of Victim Services at 1-800-247-8035 or at https://ovs.ny.gov/ .

Important phone numbers  

Crisis Services 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: 716-834-3131

Crisis Services 24-Hour Kids Helpline 716-834-1144

24/7 services from Spectrum Health and Humans Services: 716-710-5172

Spectrum Health’s Crisis & Re-Stabilization Emergency Services- 716-882-4357

FeedMore WNY at 716-822-2002

Jewish Family Services of Western New York Crisis Services: 716-834-3131

ECMC Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program 716-898-4673

Haven House 24 Hour Hotline 716-884-6000

Family Help Center 24 Hour Family Helpline 716-892-2172

SafeSpace- BestSelf Behavioral Health (16-24 years old) 716-566-1870

The Community Health Center of Buffalo Counselors are available. Anyone seeking services can call 716-986-9199.

Crisis counselor through NY Project Hope can be reached at 716-250-2478.

WBFO Racial Equity Project https://www.wned.org/community/racial-equity/

In recent years, the Buffalo region has had a significant revival, but some question whether all neighborhoods are benefiting. Buffalo Toronto Public Media is exploring that broad issue through the lens of racial equity. We’re examining the ways discrimination can leave some residents out of the resurgence – in areas such as education, public safety, housing, and the economy. By telling personal stories from across Buffalo, we can spark community discussions and help develop solutions. We’ll also highlight local groups that are working to close these gaps.

Other Important Resources

Please find below helpful tip sheets and advice from national organizations on ways you can offer help to others in our community.

YOUTH

After a Crisis: How Young Children Heal

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Young children, toddlers, and preschoolers know when bad things happen, and they remember what they have been through. After a scary event, we often see changes in their behavior. Here are some ways you can help them.

Helping Youth after Community Trauma: Tips for Educators

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Traumatic events such as a natural disaster; school violence; accidents; traumatic death of an educator or peer can impact students’ learning, behavior, and relationships. Here are some reactions you might see and how you can help. Keep in mind, not all students will feel the same way.

Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth after the Recent Shooting

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Children's and teen’s reactions to the shooting are strongly influenced by how parents, relatives, teachers, and other caregivers respond to the event. They often turn to these adults for information, comfort, and help. There are many reactions that are common after mass violence. These generally diminish with time, but knowing about them can help you to be supportive, both of yourself and your children.

Restoring a Sense of Safety in the Aftermath of a Mass Shooting: Tips for Parents and Professionals

Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress

Too often our children are exposed to violence that is both senseless and harmful. Many children, those living in close proximity to a tragic event, and those who will learn about the event through television, social media, or newspaper coverage, will be affected and upset. Find advice here for parents and caregivers to reassure children who may know about or ask questions around a traumatic event.

Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event: A Guide for Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Children and youth can face emotional strains after a traumatic event. When children experience a trauma, watch it on TV, or overhear others discussing it, they can feel scared, confused, or anxious. Young people react to trauma differently than adults. Some may react right away; others may show signs that they are having a difficult time much later. This tip sheet will help parents, caregivers, and teachers learn some common reactions, respond in a helpful way, and know when to seek support.

ADULT

Coping After Mass Violence

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Mass violence incidents, where several people are injured and killed, affect everyone in the community. Coping with mass violence can be very stressful. It can be difficult to figure out where to begin when trying to understand what happened. Here are some common reactions to mass violence.

Be Red Cross Ready: Taking Care of Your Emotional Health after a Disaster

American Red Cross

Disasters can bring about significant stress. This is especially true if you have experienced a previous disaster. The good news is that many people have experience coping with stressful life events and are naturally resilient—meaning we are designed to bounce back from difficult times. Here is some information on how to recognize your current feelings and tips for taking care of the emotional health of you, your family and your friends.

Tips for Survivors: Coping with Anger after a Disaster or Other Traumatic Event

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Many people experience anger after a disaster or other traumatic event. They may feel angry about the damage the disaster has caused, changes to their short- or long-term plans, the long recovery process, financial worries and problems, and their reactions to the disaster that are hard to deal with. They may also feel angry in general about the ways in which the disaster or other trauma has changed their lives.

Tips for Survivors: Coping with Grief After Community Violence

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

It is not uncommon for individuals and communities as a whole to experience grief reactions and anger after an incident of community violence. Grief is the normal response of sorrow, emotion, and confusion that comes from losing someone or something important to you. In situations of community violence, people may experience the loss of their sense of safety, their trust in those who live in their neighborhood, or their trust in local government. This tip sheet contains information about some of the signs of grief and anger and provides useful information about how to cope with grief.