Federal grants available to groups to provide crime victim services

Local organizations across the state will be able to apply for $16 million in federal grants to provide services for sexual assault victims, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced Wednesday.

The MDHHS Division of Victim Services has posted its fifth Request for Proposals (RFPs) for Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding. The division is accepting proposals from organizations to provide comprehensive sexual assault services such as 24-hour crisis intervention, supportive counseling or culturally specific needs. Organizations can also provide enhanced sexual assault services including OB/GYN care, legal assistance, therapy and advocacy.

A Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) is another option organizations can propose. SARTs coordinate and improve local response to sexual assault through multidisciplinary collaboration with advocates; health care providers; law enforcement officials; prosecutors; forensic scientists; sex offender management professionals; and probation, corrections and parole officers. SARTs typically provide specialized and comprehensive services, continuity of care for victims, enhanced evidence collection and increased public safety.

MDHHS will award three-year U.S. Department of Justice grants ranging from $50,000 to $1.5 million. Questions about the RFP can be emailed to MDHHS-CVSC-VOCA-GRANTS@michigan.gov and must be submitted by Aug. 20 by 5 p.m. The deadline for proposals is Sept. 12 by 3 p.m.

Applicant agencies must be public or nonprofit organizations – including faith-based entities and American Indian tribes – that provide direct services to crime victims. The purpose of the funding is to respond to the immediate needs of crime victims, reduce psychological consequences of victimization, and help restore victims’ sense of dignity and self-esteem.

For additional information or to apply, visit the MI E-Grams website and select the “About EGrAMS” link on the left panel to access the Crime Victims Agreement training manual. The RFP is located under “Legal and Policy Affairs” in the Current Grants section.

For additional information about Michigan’s Division of Victim Services, visit Michigan.gov/crimevictims.