LAS VEGAS, NV, OCTOBER 12, 2017 — The multi-agency Family Assistance Center at the Las Vegas Convention Center is busy serving the needs of people affected by the October 1 Las Vegas shooting.
“Many of the people we’re seeing were working the event,” said Martha Read, Assistant Director of Operations for the Red Cross response. “Some have food stability issues. They didn’t get tips that night. Others are experiencing coping problems since the shooting.”
The Family Assistance Center has expanded its services to make sure these needs are met. In addition to providing mental health and spiritual care to the workers, supplemental feeding is occurring based on need.
Spanish translators from Bank of America, among other groups, are serving as liaisons between Spanish-speaking families and Family Assistance Center workers. “They’re here for any family that needs an interpreter,” said Pat Booker, a Red Cross Community Partnerships worker. “In addition to translating, they make sure there are no unmet needs.”
“Every day gets busier. We have really good services available,” said Sandra Thomas Keller, a Red Cross Mental Health worker. “It’s always heartwarming how everyone wants to do what they can and lighten the burden.”
Highlights of Red Cross Response to the October 1 Shooting
Immediately after the tragic shooting, the Southern Nevada Red Cross began working alongside government partners at the Emergency Operations Center and quickly provided 450 blood products to 13 local hospitals to save lives.
Today more than 150 trained Red Cross workers are on the ground in Las Vegas. A large contingent of health, mental health and spiritual caregivers have been contacted more than 4,800 times by people seeking their services at the Family Assistance Center, blood drives, vigils and memorials, in hospitals, and in private homes.
Events like this can cause feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. The Red Cross is distributing coping tips in English and Spanish:
Red Cross caseworkers have opened more than 450 cases for 725 clients. Caseworkers help clients plan next steps in recovering and identify longer-term needs.
The Red Cross is working with government and non-profit agencies to ensure that long-term - not just immediate – needs are met for survivors, families of the deceased, concertgoers, and the general public.
Until October 20, concertgoers can retrieve personal effects they abandoned at the concert site from the Family Assistance Center. Concertgoers who have returned to their homes in other states or countries can have their belongings mailed to them by going to the FBI website: www.fbi.gov/lvmusicfestivalshooting.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.