Lewiston, MAINE — Governor Janet Mills visited the Family Assistance Center in Lewiston today to personally thank Federal, State, and local staff who are providing comprehensive services to the victims impacted by last week’s shooting.
The Mills Administration established the Center in partnership with the Office of the Attorney General, the FBI, and the Red Cross so that victims and their families can access services like mental health counseling, financial aid, spiritual care, legal assistance, and victim advocacy services in a central location.
During her visit, Governor Mills expressed her gratitude for the volunteers, many of whom are from other states, for traveling to Maine to help provide support during this difficult time.
“I am deeply grateful for all those from across Maine and the nation who, without a moment’s hesitation, have fully dedicated themselves to caring for the families of the victims at the Family Assistance Center,” said Governor Janet Mills. “This outpouring of support, and their willingness to embrace our state during some of our most difficult days, is further proof that all of Maine and all of the nation stands firmly in support of Lewiston. We are so grateful for, and will never forget, this kindness and compassion.”
Following her remarks, Governor Mills received a briefing from volunteers and staff with the Red Cross, FBI Victims Services, the Maine Attorney General’s Office and the Androscoggin County District Attorney’s Office about the coordinated services they are providing at the Center.
She then met with trained victim specialists who are helping victims access local, State, and Federal resources; with staff working to return the personal effects of victims and their families; and with certified American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters who are connecting impacted members of the D/deaf, Hard of Hearing, Late Deafened, or Deaf-Blind community with accessible services.
Yesterday at the State House in Augusta, Governor Mills provided a comprehensive update about the steps her Administration is taking to deliver direct support to individuals and communities who were impacted by last week’s mass shooting in Lewiston.
In addition to establishing the Family Assistance Center, the Mills Administration has:
- Launched “Healing Together” – an online clearinghouse of information for Maine people looking for ways to help Lewiston victims and their families, as well as mental health supports for anyone affected by last week’s violence;
- Opened a Mental Health Assistance Center at the Ramada Inn at 490 Pleasant Street in Lewiston to provide mental health services to the broader community; and
- Created a dedicated webpage of behavioral health resources for Maine people, including how to talk to children about gun violence, available online at maine.gov/dhhs.
The Mills Administration is also continuing to work closely with Lewiston area schools to ensure students and staff returning to school have full access to services and support they may need. The Administration has worked to ensure clinicians and counselors will be widely available for students and staff in need.
The Governor also announced yesterday that additional resources that will be available in the coming days:
- In partnership with the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, federal teams will be in Maine this week to support first responders and veterans, victims in need of compensation, and health care workers.
- The Department of Health and Human Services will launch an online form that will allow communities or organizations to request behavioral health help.
- The Administration, through the Department of Economic & Community Development, is working with the Small Business Administration and the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce to identify potential assistance for businesses that were impacted by shelter-in-place closures.