Neighborhoods affected by Dollar General shooting ‘excited’ to see how grant money makes a difference

People who live in the New Town and Grand Park neighborhoods say they’re excited to see how the money collected in the First Coast Relief Fund will make a difference in their neighborhoods.

Those neighborhoods were affected by the racially motivated shooting at Dollar General that claimed the lives of Angela Carr, A.J. Laguerre Jr. and Jerald Gallion.

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The money will be given to nonprofits and grassroots organizations that serve New Town and Grant Park to help improve it.

News4JAX was told that getting funding to the neighborhoods is something they’re excited about and that’s been needed for a while. One organization that serves people in this area said that their board plans to go over the application for the grant on Dec. 8 to apply for it.

“As the people come up here, they say they need this that and the other,” said Beverly McClain, the founder of Families of Slain Children. Giving away clothes is something the non-profit does often to help the people in the neighborhood.

McClain wants to execute a project where she can provide fresh fruit to the community. She says that the project would be expensive, so she would only be able to afford it if she was awarded a grant from the First Coast Relief Fund.

“We need the money. The community needs the money,” McClain said.

$250,000 from the relief fund will go to non-profits and grassroots organizations like Families of Slain Children during its first phase. The relief fund plans to give up to $15,000 to each group.

To qualify, the programs must focus on things like food security, community healing and mental health. The programs must also serve the New Town and Grant Park neighborhoods.

State and local leaders along with other organizations pledged to give money to this area because it lacked resources.

The pledges were a surprise to McClain because of how long it took for the neighborhood to receive help from outside sources.

That surprised feeling is also shared by Joy Harrington, who lives near where the shooting happened.

She said she hopes once programs get those grants — they spend it wisely to help make a difference.

“Help with food, clothing for the children maybe even allocate money for sporting events to show the children that we all don’t have to live a life of crime,” said Harrington.

MORE: Families of Dollar General shooting victims file lawsuit against store, security company, parents of shooter

Harrington and McClain said that they hope more money continues to come to the area to make it better.

First Coast Relief Fund told News4JAX that there is no deadline for applications and grants will be awarded on a rolling basis until all the money in the first phase is given out.

To apply, visit

To donate to the First Coast Relief Fund visit

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