Lutheran Social Services receives grant to help victims of crime

The non-profit organization received $25,000 from the VOCA grant.

FARGO, N.D. — For those who have suffered as the victim of a crime, trauma doesn’t end when it’s over.

There is often a long road to recovery and therapy can be a huge part of that.

“Without therapy services, people are dealing with unresolved trauma and it leads to all kinds of lasting effects that affect not just the individual but their family and their community,” therapy administrative assistant Terri Sonstahagen Burns said.

That is why those at Lutheran Social Services in Fargo is proud to have received a VOCA, or Victims of Crime Act, grant; Federal funding from the department of corrections used for victims assistance.

Under the Abound Counseling program, the $25,000 grant will provide funds that help offset therapy services for those who may be uninsured or under-insured.

“Particularly given that there is a well-known provider shortage in North Dakota, we are able to kind of pay people’e deductibles so they are not having to choose whether they are going to put food on the table that week or whether they are going to get therapy,” said Sonstahagen Burns.

The new funds will also allow the organization to reach victims across the entire state. For those not in Fargo, video and audio services will be available through a telehealth program that will give survivors a digital approach to therapy.

“With this VOCA funding, they can also receive the funding and be seen via telehealth so we are very proud to be able to do that for the whole state of North Dakota,” Abound Counseling provider relations coordinator Tina Jacobs said.

Victims of any crime can benefit from the VOCA grant, and the crime does not have to have taken place recently, it could have happened at any point in the victim’s life.

Lutheran Social Services hopes this will give those suffering better access to the help that they deserve.

Categories: Community, Crime, Health, Local News, North Dakota News