DENVER — Survivors of Club Q and other mass shootings gathered on the steps of the Denver capitol to publicly criticize the Colorado Healing Fund...again.
The first instance was shortly after the initial mass shooting in November. Their criticisms revolved around the organization
not paying victims 100% of the funds donated, as well as operating with a 10% administration cost.
Since then, an anonymous donor has underwritten all administrative costs as needed, so every dollar raised will go towards the nonprofit's efforts.
Now, many of the same survivors are upset because 100% of donations are not going directly to victims. They also want the nonprofit to stop withholding funds for long-term needs.
“Capitalism profits off of their suffering, and it's not okay," said Mark Slaugh, a relative of 3 people who were shot in Club Q.
"As much as they have to struggle against the pain and psychological damage that has been caused to our family, there should be no reason I have to be their advocate to pay for simple bills to get paid."
So far, the Colorado Healing Fund has raised $2.2 Million in donations. They've allocated $1,923,500 towards survivors and the community. That means they're withholding $300,000 for long-term needs.
“I just wish we had the Colorado Healing Fund in Place when Columbine happened," said former Columbine High School Principal and current CHF board member Frank DeAngelis.
“Unfortunately, the people at Club Q and STEM Academy and these other places, they don't even know what the needs are at this specific point. They are going to come back to us. For example, we helped out Boulder, and one of the things that's traumatized them is when there's a trial," he said.
DeAngelis says the nonprofit operates off of a model created through the experiences of 9/11, the Aurora movie theater shooting, and other tragedies.
Part of that model includes donating money to community organizations that provide resources for survivors
of mass shootings, like resiliency centers. He believes the CHF is clear about that.
“We're talking about giving money to the victims, the people who lost their lives, the injured, but we're also looking at helping the community heal. And I think that's very clear, and when people read that, if ‘I don't feel comfortable doing that' then they can donate somewhere else”.
To view reports from the Colorado Healing Fund, you can visit their website.
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