The Children Of Homicide Victims (COHV) Support Group is a non-profit organization whose core values are faith, hope, love, and community.
THE STORY BEHIND IT ALL
Children of Homicide Victims was originally created to be "Children of Lost Souls" in 2013, a year after the founder, Sunnie Carney lost her father to homicide in Kansas City. Years after struggling with alcohol, depression, anger, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts the name was changed in 2017 to "Children of Homicide Victims". Carney was no longer a "lost soul".
Carney's father, Vernon Ray Carney Jr., was Kansas City's 9th homicide victim of 2012. At age 16, two days before her birthday her life was changed forever.
"When I lost my father my mother was left to raise and try to get healing for a broken child with no support. At 16 I was just becoming a young woman, so I think that made it even harder for me and her. I had feelings in me that she couldn’t understand and I couldn't explain and that made me resent her and become isolated to everyone. There wasn't a organization like COHV to help me. I started trying to define what a love from a man was; seeking attention and love in the wrong places. I tried to fill the void I felt in my heart where my father lived. I was sad and angry which made me violent. I lacked self confidence. I tried to fill my depression seeking attention and popularity. I began hosting nightlife parties for older crowds. I literally grew up in the night life. I was drinking before I was even old enough; blacking out and not remembering where I was or how I got there. All of that made matters worse, the attention that I craved I received, but it didn't heal my pain. I wanted to end my life. I thought about overdosing, drowning, driving into a tree, you name it I had the thought"
How did she get to where she is now? She says that it was God's love, grace, and mercy that saved her. Carney became consistent in church and found faith FOR-REAL. She found a father in Jesus Christ. Her testimony and her passion for youth became her purpose. Using tools developed through her journey she advocates against violence and help grieving and lost children just like whom she once was.
Knowing the struggles she faced losing a parent she wanted to provide support for other children and families to help them get through what could possibly change their lives forever.
COHV gained it's articles of Incorporation in August of 2018 and gained 501(c)(3) status. Since founded, COHV has served over 200 victims' children in the Kansas City Metro area.