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Reaction to door-to-door services allegedly provided for those impacted by Tops mass shooting on Jefferson

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Posted at 5:53 PM, Jun 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-22 17:53:47-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The City of Buffalo is going door-to-door to provide several services, including mental health resources to residents in 14208 zip code impacted by the mass shooting, but others feel differently.

Rita McCaa, the daughter of one of the survivors of the racist attack, says her mother hasn't left her home for over a month.

"She saw Mother Young, which is a friend of hers. They go to the same church and every Sunday after church they go to dinner," McCaa says. "So they said see you tomorrow and my mom went down one aisle and Mother Young said she was going to pick more items so then my mom left and within five minutes the tragedy happened."

McCaa says her mother's mental health is a concern.

"One minute she would cry, and then one minute she would be thinking God that it wasn't her time yet, but she feels guilty, but I've done nothing but loved up on her," she says.

And it's those stories, those experiences, prompting the City of Buffalo to do a "Clean Sweep."

Crews are going door-to-door in the Jefferson community connecting people with employment, governmental and mental health resources.

"A lot of people are angry. When I go knocking on doors they're like why are you here now," says a service volunteer or Roswell, Beverly Johnson. "But we've been here but they don't know it so now they're feeling like we only come around here because of what happened and that's not the case."

McCaa says she wasn't aware of the door-to-door services.

"The one that's on Ferry the YMCA that's the only one I'm aware of and I know a couple of people that went there three weeks ago and still haven't heard anything from them," McCaa says. "So we feel it'll be a waste of time."

The director of citizens services, Oswaldo Mestre, who lives not too far from Tops, says he understands the mental health issues many in his community are facing.

"This was a racially motivated attack so we need to take whatever time that we need in terms of engaging," he says. "And talking to folks to make sure that not only this community is healed but what can we do to approve upon the services that's why we're knocking on doors."

Mestre says these door-to-door services will last until July.

You can also call 3-1-1 or 2-1-1, and someone from the city will come to your door.

Click here to get information on emotional support resources.