Over the course of the past several weeks, an alarming number of statements have been released from families of the deceased victims in the Colorado theater shooting about the mismanagement of the Victims Relief Fund and the lack of support for the families.
The Aurora Victims Relief Fund continues to be under immense scrutiny, having so far only disbursed about $5,000 to each family of the 12 killed and 58 wounded. A little over $100,000 has also been disseminated to other nonprofit organizations, primarily mental health charities. The fund is currently managed by the Community First Foundation.
Survivors of the victims are now calling for the Colorado Governor to interviene and appoint an arbitrator to oversee distribution of the fund, which has now amassed more than $52 million.
Victims and families are looking for funds to support the medical expenses, physical therapies, and health costs for those wounded in the massacre. A spokesperson for the Governor's office said the Governeor is looking to integrate United Way, local city officials, and other charities into determining the next steps.
But why is it taking so long?
The Community First Foundation created a 7/20 Recover Committee to provide recommendations on how funds will be distributed, but they have yet to confirm committee members, which may grow to include victim families. In addition to not slating the final membership, the committee hasn't determined whether or not they will pay for survivor mental health fees, citing a federal grant may be an alternative.
While the Community First Foundation drags its feet and makes no decisions about funding, a survivor of the massacre who miscarried and lost a 6 year old daughter in the shooting is resorting to another charity to help her. As a result of her wounds, Ashley Moser will be paralyzed and Habitat for Humanity has been solicited assist in a handicapped-accessible home.
Some families of victims are calling the mismanagement and broken promises of the Community First Foundation the second tragedy in Aurora.
*On July 20, 2012 just outside of Denver, Colorado, a gunman opened fire on the audience of the midnight showing for "The Dark Knight Rises," killing 12 and wounding 58. Suspect James Eagan Holmes was charged with 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempted murder.