Fort Bend County officially accepted grant funds that will provide case management and financial assistance to victims of crime.

The $130,838 grant comes from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Office of Justice Programs and the Office of Victims of Crime through the Texas Office of the Governor Criminal Justice Division. The funds will go to the Fort Bend County Social Services IRIS Women’s Program, which provides case management for victims of domestic violence and crime. The grant was officially approved at the Dec. 7 Commissioners Court meeting.

The $130,838 grant will have a cash match of $32,709 from the county, according to agenda documents. The grant will last from October 2021 to September 2022.

Najat Elsayed, social services division manager for Fort Bend County, said the county has received this grant for multiple years.

“What we do is we just use it to provide social workers to do case management for victims of crime who call social services and need assistance," Elsayed said. "What we do from there is we have a lot of public assistance funding that we utilize to try to maximize the benefit of the individual."

Through this case management, there are different items individuals can receive help for, Elsayed said.

“For example, if they need help with utilities or emergency shelter or food or or just connections and referrals to a local shelter and the resources that they provide," she said. "We [also] have a network of nonprofits that we work with if there's needs that they need beyond that."

Fort Bend County Commissioners Court also voted to approve an application to apply for the federal Emergency Food and Shelter Program Phase 39 grant. If the county is selected for the grant, it would receive $457,550 to offer to residents for financial assistance with rent, food and utilities.

If the grant is approved by the court, it would take effect in January 2022 through May 2023. The grant is meant to act as a short-term program for eligible people in need of things such as rent and utilities assistance. There are rules and regulations when applying for the funds, Elsayed said.

“The individual has to provide documentation, like a bill, and they have to have qualified [for it] and [have] exhausted their income,” Elsayed said.