CLEVELAND --It is time for Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus to start rebuilding their lives.
But that will cost money.
Enter the 'Cleveland Courage Fund,' which was quickly set up by council members Brian Cummins, Matt Zone and Dona Brady through the Cleveland Foundation.
"We want this money to go to direct services and assistance to the families," Cummins said. "The intention is to utilize this money for the direct benefit for the families."
Donations will pay for the victims’ food, housing, utilities, clothing, furniture, cars and medical expenses.
"Just about anything," Cummins said.
Cleveland Foundation spokeswoman Susan Christopher said the money will be distributed to the victims through non-profit organizations, which are not allowed to take a cut of the money, so every penny gets to the women and their families.
The victims will likely not be handed a bunch of cash, Cummins said.
"If Michelle needs housing, somebody needs a car and transportation we can actually write checks based on those needs directly to service providers," Cummins said, adding they will also take physical donations for the women, such as cars or a nice apartment or house for the victims to live in.
According to Cummins, about $20,000 had been collected as of Thursday evening.
Monetary donations can be mailed to The Cleveland Foundation. Donations are also accepted at any Key Bank.
The Cleveland Courage Fund has partnered with the Family Ministry Center, who is providing a site for spiritual reflection and interfaith prayer, as well as a location for cards and donations of goods to be received. They are located at:
The Family Ministry Center
3381 Fulton Road
Cleveland Ohio , 44109
The new drop-off location begins today (Monday, May 13) through June 22.
Donations will be accepted at the south entrance of the church Monday through Friday from 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m -1:00 pm.