Bill would provide additional funds to help crime victims

Survivor Resources workers come in after police are gone from the scene of a homicide or suicide, help families navigate the court system, and even deal with their emotional loss.

A bill under consideration at the Capitol would set aside $500,000 during the next two years for grants to improve non-profit organizations that assist crime victims.

Leann Hoffstrom testified in support of the bill today. Unfortunately, she's all too familiar with the need for those services.

Her son, Ted Hoffstrom, was killed by Orono police in 2013 after he shot and killed an OBGYN doctor by the name of Steven Larson.

Tragically, 10 months later, Hoffstrom's husband, still suffering from the grief, took his own life.

All along Leann has been helped by Survivor Resources.

"Without them, I swear to you I would not be here today," Leann testified today. "I have made friends that we walk the walk that I hope none of you will ever have to walk."

Catherine Johnson of the Minneapolis Police Violent Crimes Unit echoed that sentiment.

"Survivor Resources was there helping families struggling with the aftermath of the Accent Signage shooting," she said. "They did what cops couldn't they took the time to begin the emotional healing process for the survivors of that incident."

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Dan Schoen (D-St. Paul Park) who works as a police officer in Cottage Grove.

There wasn't a vote on the bill today, but it was laid over for possible inclusion into the giant crime bill at the end of the session.
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