The office of the State Attorney’s Office will hold its 14th annual Crime Victims’ Fund Run/Walk at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 7 in Druid Hill Park.
Proceeds from the event are used to maintain the Crime Victims’ Emergency Fund, which provides financial support for the immediate needs of a victim. The fund is available to victims of domestic violence, robbery, assaults, child abuse, and sexual assault.
It is also available to some families affected by homicide and it covers expenses like replacing broken windows and locks, stolen property, crime scene cleanup, and medical treatment.
“We have received an overwhelming response from sponsors but are currently offering an early registration fee of $30.00 prior to race day to boost runner participation,” said Robin Singletary Haskins, the victim/witness services and relocation coordinator for the State’s Attorney.
Registration will be $35.00 on race day and groups of 15 or more who register together will receive an additional discount of $5.00 per person.
To continue to provide crime victims assistance, the agency must raise money to maintain this independent fund, thus the 5K Run-Walk and 1 Mile Walk.
“In 2016, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby reinstituted the popular Crime Victims Fund Run/Walk, which had not been held since 2012. In October 2016, more than 100 participants braved the cold rainy weather at Rash Field in the Inner Harbor, raising more than $7,500 for the Victim Emergency Fund,” Haskins said.
Since 2001, more than 900 victims have received financial assistance totaling $107,476.28.
In 2016, 85 victims of crime received assistance totaling over $15,500 and in 2017, 93 victims received assistance totaling $21,815.
“The mother of a homicide victim always paid her rent on time up until the death of her son. Her son was employed and contributed to the household income,” Haskins said.
“After his death, she had to go on extended bereavement leave which was not covered by her employer. She needed assistance with one month’s rent until she was able to return to work,” she said.
“The Victim Emergency Fund provided assistance so that she and the rest of her children were not evicted,” Haskins added, citing examples that included a carjacking victim and a victim visiting from Kenya who was robbed of all his personal property including his passport.
That individual didn’t have the means to replace his passport to return home, but the fund assisted him with obtaining a replacement.
Another victim was robbed while delivering newspapers. Thieves stole his money and, after reporting the crime, the fund helped him avoid eviction by paying his rent.
Still, another victim had endured years of abuse before making the decision to leave her abusive husband, Haskins said.
While the husband was out on bail, he broke into the victim’s home.
“Fortunately, he was picked up for violating the protective order. However, she still felt uneasy being in her home without a security device,” she said. “The fund assisted with getting her an alarm installed.”
In addition to helping victims, Haskins said participants in the annual fundraiser always look forward to the walk.
“The registration fee is lower than most other local 5K races, which is an incentive. Almost everyone knows someone who has been impacted by crime in Baltimore City, so participants enjoy the challenge of competing in a 5K race while helping others who are in need,” she said.
This is the first year that the event is being held in Druid Hill Park, located in the heart of Baltimore City.
“For the first time, the Edmondson-Westside High School Marching band will be playing for the runners and walkers on the race route,” Haskins said.