When violence or an unattended casualty occurs in a home, the first and only thing the homeowner should be concentrating on is recovery. The grieving process will take a lot out of a person and will affect a person’s judgment when attempting to handle other matters.
Unfortunately, when there’s a death in a home there are other matters that need to be addressed, such as the crime scene cleanup, the insurance coverage, what payments needs to be made and in many cases, how those payments are going to be made.
Aftermath has worked with a number of families to get them the support they need, not only financially but emotionally as well.
In December of 2012, Aftermath was called to an unattended death cleanup in Georgia. Not unlike every situation that involves a death, it was an emotional time for the family
“They wanted to take care of the situation as quickly as possible,” said Brad Burns, the project manager at Aftermath who handled the Georgia case. “We wanted to help them remove any reminders for the family, and the longer the scene stays the more problems you’re going to have to the structure.”
The Aftermath team moved quickly and was able to remediate and sanitize the area, but as the grieving process began for the family there were still issues that needed to be dealt with including insurance and payments. The family contacted their home insurance but unfortunately it wasn’t going to cover the entire cost of the unattended death cleanup. However, the family did qualify for Aftermath’s financial hardship discount program, and Aftermath also helped the family contact area victim advocacy groups to further offset financial impact.
There are a number of victim advocacy groups across the country, and are typically nonprofits that concentrate on a specific region. Every group operates differently, but most offer not only financial support but emotional support as well.
“We’ve dealt with advocacy groups that offer counseling, support groups and case workers,” Burns said. “Anytime a family has someone helping them, supporting them, it can make all the difference during those difficult times.”
In many cases, Aftermath has contacted the advocacy groups on behalf of the victim’s family.
“We typically try to explain the situation to the group,” Burns said. “We don’t want the family to have to continuously tell the story of what happened and why they’re in that situation. We try to take as much of the burden off the families as we can.”
In the Georgia case, Aftermath was able to contact a victim’s advocacy group who helped the family by paying a portion of what was owed for the cleanup. Aftermath applied the advocacy group’s payment as payment in full against the discounted balance and closed the account, allowing the family to have peace of mind while they continued to grieve.
For those areas that don’t have an area advocacy group available, there are national advocacy groups including the National Organization for Victim Assistance and the National Center for Victims of Crime.
“We’ve worked with a number of those groups and they can be very beneficial to the grieving families,” Burns said. “They can help people who simply don’t know what to do next.”