Agency provides help for kids of local homicide victims

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - With a few weeks to go in the year, 101 people have already become victims of homicide in Kansas City. It's a tragic number on its own, but there's a group of people affected by those murders who one woman believes needs more help.

Monica Roberts sees the effects of crime more often than most. She's there to help children who have lost a parent to homicide.

"It's not like the same loss as a death in a grieving and dying process, in losing a parent to terminal illness," Roberts said.

That's why she formed the Healing Pathway Victim Service Agency.

"We believe that the co-victims, which are the children of the homicide victim, are in need of very specialized forms of services," Roberts said.

Because most families have never lost someone so suddenly and violently, Roberts said her agency is there to point clients to services they need and to watch over these children until age 18.

Zoey, the three-month-old daughter of Kasandra Perkins and Jovan Belcher, is a high-profile example of a child Roberts' agency serves. However, most children will not have financial backing like Zoey, who will receive $1.2 million from the NFL Foundation alone.

"There are no scripts for how to accurately deal with something such as the loss of a loved one," Roberts said.

Despite the challenge, the Healing Pathway Service Agency has already helped 35 children in just one year. The agency is made up of a dozen volunteers who have a social work background.

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