When a 22-year-old woman died from a gunshot wound in February, community organizations and faith leaders in Broward County, Florida, responded quickly. The coalition took to the streets in the days following her killing, hoping to prevent further violence. They offered access to mental health support and counseling. And in the weeks after, Faith in Florida, an organization that works to prevent gun violence, organized financial support for the victim’s family.
Pastor Rhonda Thomas, executive director of Faith in Florida, would like to do more: improve access to counselors who look like the community, train new outreach workers and organizers, and provide additional financial and emotional support for victims and their families. But the organization and other community groups it works with lack the funding.