Uvalde County votes not to renew Ecumenical Center contract

The termination of state and federal funding for trauma-informed counseling services led to this decision

UVALDE, Texas – The Uvalde County Commissioners Court voted to not renew their contract with the Ecumenical Center, which has provided counseling services to the community after the Robb Elementary shooting in May 2022.

Following the massacre, state and federal funds given through the Victims of Crime Act grant (VOCA) provided long-term support and therapy services free-of-charge. Those funds are set to expire in April 2024.

During this week’s commissioners court meeting, Uvalde County District Attorney Christina Mitchell said they’re working with the Department of Justice and governor’s office to renew VOCA’s grant, but they should look to local services to provide counseling instead of involving the state and federal government.

State Sen. Roland Gutierrez opposed the decision, saying in a press release, “Sadly, it is not surprising that once the cameras are gone and the politicians have left, Governor Abbott and others decide to cut funds and cut services. This is the kind of neglect of rural Texas that left Uvalde vulnerable in the first place.”

Mary Beth Fisk, CEO of the Ecumenical Center, previously said last year they’re committed to helping Uvalde for the next five years and will re-evaluate after.

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