Ontario residents will now be eligible for emergency funds for cleanup, damage repair and household security enhancements in the aftermath of violent incidents. The provincial government plans to a rollout the new Victim Quick Response Program – plus (VQRP+) on October 1, authorizing 52 regionally based social service agencies and First Nations councils to release financial aid within three to 10 business days.
Survivors of violence, families of homicide victims and/or witnesses of violent crimes could qualify for the program, which will replace the existing Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB). The new rules will provide direct funds to eligible recipients rather than requiring them to later apply for reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses.
“VQRP+ will relieve some of the burden caused by crime, enhance safety and meet practical needs,” says Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey. “This provincial program will also help serve as a bridge to longer-term health and social supports.”
Funds could be allocated to cover a range of needs including funeral expenses, travel costs, supports for people who have been displaced from their homes and possessions, dental work and counselling services. Qualifying maintenance and home security costs include professional crime scene cleaning services, glass replacement and installation of deadbolts, motion sensors and contact alarms.