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Helping Outreach Programs to Expand II

Faith-based and community-based organizations have a long history of helping victims. More often than not, victims seek the comfort, guidance, and assistance of faith- and community-based organizations because these organizations are trusted members of the community. To promote greater participation of faith- and community-based organizations in criminal justice programs that are supported by the Department of Justice, and to help develop and build the capacity of these organizations to respond to underserved victims in high-crime urban areas, OVC has allocated funds to the Helping Outreach Programs to Expand II (HOPE II) grant program.

Through a cooperative agreement with the Maryland Crime Victims' Resource Center, Inc. (MCVRC), OVC solicited proposals from faith-based and community-based organizations serving underserved crime victims to establish subgrantee sites in urban, high-crime areas across the United States. In FYs 2005 and 2006, $5 million was made available for this initiative to fund each site with up to $50,000. Activities that will be supported include—
  • Recruiting and using volunteers to provide services to victims of crime (e.g., training victim advocates), and managing volunteers and nongovernmental support.

  • Providing services to victims (e.g., transportation to and from criminal justice proceedings and advocacy before the criminal justice system).

  • Promoting a coordinated public- and private-sector effort to aid victims within the community served (e.g., program literature, newsletters, and victim outreach efforts).

  • Assisting victims in obtaining victim compensation benefits through state or local government agencies.

MCVRC will help subgrantees develop a network linking faith- and community-based organizations to victim assistance communities. Critical gaps in services will be addressed, and existing resources and collaborations strengthened to improve communities' response to victims. For more information, contact MCVRC at 301-952-1406 or by e-mail at mail@mdcrimevictims.org.

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) will conduct a 2-year evaluation of the HOPE II program to independently assess the extent to which the HOPE II program goals and objectives are being achieved. For more information, see the NIJ solicitation.

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