Washington – A year and a half after the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Justice Department has given the town of Newtown a $7.1 million grant to support victims and their families, first  responders, and community members.

This is the latest of several federal grants the town has received to cope with the aftermath of the shooting, which killed 20 first-graders and six educators at the school. Last year, Newtown  received a $1.5 million grant from the Office for Victims of Crime and the Newtown Public School District  has received $3.2 million through the U.S. Department of Education’s School Emergency Response to Violence program.

The latest grant also comes the Office for Victims of Crime. A statement from members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation said the money would be used to support victim services — including mental health services –with a portion reserved for school safety efforts. It will also help reimburse ongoing services, the statement said.

“We recognize this is a step in the long process of recovery,” said Candice Bohr, executive director of Newtown Youth and Family Services. “Since the tragedy, NYFS has increased its staffing capacity and has witness the client population quadruple in the last 18 months. We anticipate seeing a continued need in services and funding related to mental health …”

Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District, who represents Newtown in Congress, said they would continue to lobby for more federal resources for Newtown.

“It’s our responsibility to do everything we can to help the Newtown community rebuild and recover,” Murphy said.

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Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

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