NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Shooting victims or families who lost someone to violence since February are eligible for $1,000 through the Yale New Haven Hospital’s violence intervention program. 

The money comes on a Mastercard and there are no strings attached. Hospital staff said the program is meant to help families address financial needs so they can focus on healing. 

Under Yale New Haven Hospital’s Violence Intervention Program, families of homicide victims can get a one-time payment of $1,000. Victims of violence are eligible for two payments of $500 each. 

“It comes at a time when they least expect it and they might already be going through financial issues,” said Cecilio “Pepe” Vega, the violence prevention outreach leader at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Some who have received the money have used it for food, hospital bills or rent. 

“They are in the worst experience of their lives when they see us in the hospital but when they’re leaving the hospital, their physical health is not the only thing they have to think about,” said Dr. James Dodington, the director of Yale New Haven Hospital’s Medical Center.

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The Hospital Violence Intervention Program connects victims of violence with community resources to address trauma and stop the cycle of violence. This money is just one part of their strategy. 

“If you’re in that circumstance and you’re talking to our team, we feel like we need to give you every opportunity to heal and particularly try to avoid situations where you might be victimized again,” Dodington said. 

Yale New Haven Hospital partnered with a non-profit called 4-CT to fund the cash program. There are $75,000 dollars in the fund. Dodington said they are expecting to help 100 victims of violence this year. 

“What we want to see is less victims of violence and want to do everything in our power to make that happen,” he said.  

Yale New Haven Hospital started a similar program last year and more than 60 patients and families participated. The cash pilot program officially started this February. They’re hoping to get more funding so they can expand the program and help more people. 

The video below aired in our 10 p.m. newscast on June 1, 2023.