Family Assistance Center open to victims and families of mass shooting in Las Vegas

The Clark County Family Assistance Center is a safe space only for the victims and families of Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas. (KSNV)

All week we’ve been telling you about the space at the convention center where those involved in Sunday’s mass shooting have been directed to go for assistance. On Monday alone, Clark County officials say over 1,000 people were assisted at the Family Assistance Center (FAC). For the first time, news cameras are getting a look inside the FAC.

The Clark County Family Assistance Center is not open to the media. As matter of fact, the general public isn’t even allowed inside. It is a safe space only for the victims and families of Sunday’s mass shooting.

From assistance with lodging, travel, and finances to even legal advice and one-on-one time with the Nevada Attorney General, the center has become a one-stop shop to meet the needs of the families of those killed or injured.

“We joined a group that we never wanted to join. Communities that have faced a tragedy like this,” said Clark County Deputy Fire Chief John Steinbeck.

Steinbeck says figuring out what services were needed was a learning process, explaining that it’s sadly become a national effort -- relying on those from the other cities that have gone through similar tragedies.

“We had a plan in place, of course, for a disaster in the city, so some of it’s pre-planned,” said Steinbeck. “Some of it also came from the assistance that we’ve received from Orlando and San Bernardino.”

Even a play area is now set up inside the FAC, where these victims’ littlest family members can safely stay as the grown ups take care of the serious stuff.

“Being here, in this nurturing place, with someone who is there by your side, who you can talk to, or not talk to — your choice — but is available there, that is a very, very positive healing process,” said American Red Cross Mental Health Lead, Dan Mosley.

Mosley says it’s now time to focus on the good in this center and not the heartbreak that created it.

If you or a family member are a survivor of the attack, the center is open for you.

The Family Assistance Center is located in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, which is best accessed off Sierra Vista Street Drive and Swenson Street. The FAC is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., until further notice. Representatives from multiple agencies are working in the center to provide help to victims and family members affected by the incident. Services include lodging, travel and transportation, grief counseling, legal services, on-site child care, filing police reports, documentation and other assistance.

When the investigation of the crime scene is complete, personal belongings of those who attended the Route 91 Harvest Festival will be available for retrieval from the assistance center. The time frame and details about the process are still being determined and will be managed with help from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations Victims Services Division.

Clark County is also activating a Family Assistance Center call center to serve as a referral resource for victims and their family members of Sunday’s mass shooting incident. Local callers should dial (702) 455-AIDE (2433); out-of-state callers should dial 1-833-299-AIDE (2433).

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