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Relatives of homicide victims can find support | READER COMMENTARY

Aaliyah Hayes, 5, is supported by her half-sister, Kayla Hayes, 17, at the viewing for their father, Phil Hayes, whose killing on Nov. 6 remains unsolved. Nov. 15, 2021. (Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun).
Aaliyah Hayes, 5, is supported by her half-sister, Kayla Hayes, 17, at the viewing for their father, Phil Hayes, whose killing on Nov. 6 remains unsolved. Nov. 15, 2021. (Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun). (Amy Davis/Amy Davis)

Thank you for your recent coverage of how families are impacted by Baltimore’s high rate of homicides (”Grieving Baltimore families feel the pain of so many as city passes 300 homicides: ‘It happens every day,’” Nov. 20). I think it is very important for families suffering from the worst traumas imaginable to know that there are services for such families in Baltimore City.

The Family Bereavement Center (FBC) is a program of the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City. It was launched in the late 1980s by then-State’s Attorney Stuart Simms after Mr. Simms visited a similar program in Detroit. FBC provides the families of homicide victims individual and group counseling, court escorts and assistance with applications to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.

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FBC provides services to children as well. Over the 30 plus years since the founding of FBC, the program has served over 16,000 families with over 10,000 counseling sessions among other forms of assistance. To her credit, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby has doubled staffing for FBC.

Those interested in more information can contact the Family Bereavement Center at 120 East Baltimore Street or call 443-984-6244 or email Kim Holmes, FBC coordinator and therapist at kholmes@stattorney.org.

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Ken Strong, Baltimore

The writer is former division chief of the Office of Victim and Witness Services for the State’s Attorney’s Office for Baltimore City.

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