Q: I read that you have distributed only 25% of the millions of dollars you collected for Club Q victims. That seems low.
A: We distributed nearly 30% of the funds we collected for the Club Q shooting in the first two-and-a half months following the shooting. Those funds went to support the short-term needs of victims. Now that we have a better understanding of the short-term, intermediate, and long-term needs of victims, we have authorized another 50% of the funds to be distributed immediately. That leaves about 22% of the funds to be used on long-term needs of victims.
That model is recommended by trauma experts because it is common for victims to demonstrate additional impact in the months and years following an incident.
Q: Some critics are upset with you for not distributing the money to victims as soon as you get it. Why don’t you do that?
A: We distribute funds in accordance with our proven model that is designed to address the short-term, intermediate, and long-term needs of victims. Our model was created by more than 20 of Colorado’s leading experts in the area of incident response. These experts evaluated numerous responses ranging from 9/11 to the Virginia Tech shootings to the Boston Marathon bombing to identify best practices that are now reflected in our policies.
Experts recommend against distributing every dollar we receive immediately because we need to balance the immediate needs of victims with their long-term needs to ensure that we make the biggest difference in their lives.
Q: I read that you don’t have clear guidelines as to what expenses are covered, and that any existing guidelines are not consistently applied.
A: We have clear policies, and we apply them consistently. Those policies do have room for flexibility, however, because every victim is unique, and therefore their circumstances and needs are also unique. The physical, emotional, and spiritual impacts to victims are also unique, and we work with trauma-informed victim advocates to understand each situation. And we have created flexibility in our guidelines to accommodate that. Our goal is to help every victim of a mass casualty event.
Q: Do victims have to justify expenses to receive money?
A: We have a fiduciary responsibility to donors and victims alike to ensure that the money is distributed fairly and securely to victims, and we have a moral responsibility to ensure the money goes to those places where it can do the most good. We work closely with trauma-informed victim advocates who have experience working with victims so we can provide funds in a manner that is considerate of all victims.
Our model was created by more than 20 of Colorado’s leading experts in the area of incident response, and these experts evaluated numerous responses ranging from 9/11 to the Virginia Tech shootings to the Boston Marathon bombing to identify best practices that are now reflected in our policies.
Q: Do you protect confidential survivor information?
A: Absolutely. We keep all information that we collect 100% confidential and do not share that with any external organizations we are not currently working with. We have agreements in place with trusted partners to assure victim confidentiality while addressing victim needs. We never share any information about victims or survivors, particularly in relationship to what they may have requested. Recipients are, of course, free to share with anyone what support they have received, and we know that many will when bonding and convening together.
Every verified victim of the Club Q tragedy should have received some form of support from CHF at this point. Please contact your victim advocate immediately if you have not or reach out to CHF by calling 720-235-8638 or JordanFinegan@coloradohealingfund.org.