Loved Ones of Homicide Victims, a Los Angeles organization struggling for funds, has relluctantly dropped “homicide” from its name, says the Los Angeles Times. Homicide “is not a cause that people want to align themselves with,” said the Rev. Ferroll Robins, the group’s director. “It is something no one wants to think about.” Homicide rates in the area the group services are roughly six times the national average. The fact that a nonprofit agency specializing in treating the psychological aftermath of killings lacks funds “really angers me,” said Deputy Police Chief Earl Paysinger.
Advocates for Loved Ones say Los Angeles’ murder problem is losing out to other political priorities and more popular causes. “Homicide is not fashionable. It is not the popular cause, the cause du jour,” said Inglewood Police Chief Ronald Banks, chairman of Loved Ones’ board.
For nearly two decades, Loved Ones has provided counseling and support to about 200 people a year who are grief-stricken after a homicide – mostly street murders, many of them gang-related. Most of the federal $40 million for California victims programs is restricted to two uses: salaries for victim representatives and services for victims of domestic violence, child abuse, or sex abuse.
What’s left for other organizations such as Loved Ones is less than $1 million. The state Office of Emergency Services divides that funding equally among eight organizations.