Violent Crime Victim Services, a small and compassionate organization, fills an important niche in a heartbreaking sphere. As their name implies, VCVS provides services to those who have been devasted by the homicide of a loved one. VCVS was founded by Lew Cox, Executive Director, having experienced the murder of a daughter in the prime of her life. He suffered not only the grief of a parent losing a child but also found himself thrust into the world of the criminal justice system. This unknown world is often unfriendly and mystifying to the uninitiated. Out of his pain, VCVS was born to help co-victims navigate through this system.
In 27 years of operation, Violent Crime Victim Services has grown to be an invaluable resource for families of homicide and those who serve them. VCVS does this by offering peer support groups, crisis intervention, mental health referrals, peer court support and faith community referrals. They strive to ensure that victims receive their constitutional rights with dignity and respect while helping them adjust to the challenges of traumatic grief recovery.
Early in the spring of 2020, their landlord unexpectedly offered them a significantly larger office suite at their existing rental rate. However, they would have to get the space ready and move within a short time frame. The offer quickly became an exciting opportunity to expand services and accommodate the growing needs of the organization.
When they approached the Cheney Foundation, we recognized the excellent opportunity presented. Not only would VCVS increase their office space, the floor plan contained a large conference room and full-size kitchen. These amenities would allow VCVS to hold its monthly peer-support group in the conference room as well as regularly scheduled meetings for staff, professionals in the field, chaplains, law enforcement, and therapists. It would also provide a place for the annual Christmas party and space to gather co-victims for social nights. All these activities taking place under one roof would bring additional benefits in cost savings and staff time in a more comfortable and calming environment.
To learn more about Violent Crime Victim Services please visit www.vcvs.org/.