U.S. Department of Justice: Enhancing Access to Services Program
The Enhancing Access to Services Program seeks to enhance services to crime victims in linguistically specific communities by breaking down barriers that prevent millions of Deaf, hard-of-hearing, and limited English proficient (LEP) crime victims across the country from accessing the services they need after crime victimization. This program will promote innovation and collaboration in affected communities and will enhance the work of community-based organizations and programs working to help victims report crimes and access the services they need to heal in the aftermath of crime victimization.
The overall goal of the program is to increase the capacity of community-based organizations and programs to break down the barriers that victims face in accessing services. Organizations funded through this program will:
- Deliver victim-centered and trauma-informed services within linguistically specific communities
- Expand the capacity of community-based organizations to address the language access and service needs of all crime victims
- Identify promising practices and disseminate resources and lessons learned from this project to the victim services field and allied professionals
Funds through this program are primarily intended to be used to improve language access services within community-based organizations and provide a comprehensive array of direct services for victims of all types of crime. Up to 20 percent of funds may also be used to build the capacity of staff and community partners to provide comprehensive direct services to victims. Funds will be awarded through two program areas:
Purpose Area 1: Linguistically Specific Direct Services: Funding will support organizations that to provide linguistically specific victim-centered and trauma-informed services for victims of crime. Priority will be placed on organizations with a history of serving crime victims that propose to expand and increase access to services for all victims of crime within linguistically specific communities (e.g., victims who are Deaf, hard of hearing, or LEP). Community-based organizations that currently receive federal funding to provide linguistically specific services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking should seek to expand those services to victims of other types of crime within that community, including victims of human trafficking, robbery, assault, elder abuse, and DUI/DWI; family members of homicide victims; and victims of hate and bias crimes.
Examples of allowable activities under this purpose area include, but are not limited to, crisis intervention; victim advocacy; case management; assistance in applying for crime victim compensation; individual and group counseling for both victims and their children who are exposed to the violence; emergency assistance for victims (food, clothing, rent, utilities, medical care, substance abuse treatment, and other approved necessities); language assistance services (including professional interpreters or translators); legal assistance with protection orders and/or immigration remedies related to their victimization (T Visas, U Visas, VAWA self-petitions, etc.); translation of program materials; and community outreach and education.
Grantees funded under this project will work to strengthen referral networks and collaboration between linguistically specific community-based organizations, law enforcement, and other public agencies for the purpose of improving the community response to crime victims.
Purpose Area 2: Linguistically Specific Training and Technical Assistance: One organization will be funded to provide TTA related to the provision of linguistically specific services to crime victims. The TTA provider will train and assist Purpose Area 1 recipients funded under this project, and other victim service providers and allied professionals, and will develop tools and resources suitable for online publication and dissemination to the larger victim services field.
Amount: A total of $2,600,000 is available. For Purpose Area 1, up to 10 awards of up to $200,000 each are expected to be awarded. For Purpose Area 2, one award of up to $600,000 is expected to be awarded. The period of performance is 24 months.
- Direct Service Sites: Public agencies; federally recognized Indian tribal governments; nonprofit organizations (including tribal nonprofit organizations); faith- and community-based organizations; and colleges or universities (including tribal institutions of higher education). Purpose Area 1 (Direct Service Sites) applicants must demonstrate a history of providing direct services to victims of crime in linguistically specific communities.
- Purpose Area 2 (Training and Technical Assistance) applicants must demonstrate: 1) experience providing training and technical assistance on crime victim service and language access issues for community-based organizations, and 2) experience developing online publications and technical assistance resources for broad dissemination to the victim services field.
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