Chicago mom of kid killed by gun violence pushes for new law that would cover funeral costs
CHICAGO - Mychal Moultry, Jr.’s family is hoping whoever killed their child is brought to justice.
In the midst of it all, his mother and father have been advocating for other families through a new law that would pay funeral costs.
"MJ was my only child," said Angela Gregg, mother of slain 4-year-old Mychal Moulty, Jr.
Gregg is still coping with the pain of losing her 4-year-old son to gun violence seven months ago in Chicago.
It was Labor Day weekend when stray bullets traveled through a Woodlawn apartment while the child was getting his hair braided.
"To try to get through the grievance process, to try to make changes," said Gregg. "Then to have the funeral home call and say they still need money for my son’s services. It’s traumatizing."
Gregg still owes over $12,500 from two funerals; her son was visiting his father in Chicago, but lived in Alabama.
"We are in debt to the funeral homes because we are waiting on the victim’s compensation to come through, but it still hasn’t," said Gregg.
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Gregg has turned some of her pain into purpose, advocating for the families to have immediate funeral assistance through the "Mychal Moultry, Jr. Funeral and Burial Assistance Act."
It has already passed the Illinois Senate and House. It will create a system that will immediately pay the funeral home so that parents do not have to worry.
"We are talking in between three to five days of the loss," said Father Michael Pfleger, the pastor of St. Sabina Church, who is pushing for the legislation.
The money is available for families that lose a child 17 and under — murdered because of violence — providing up to $10,000 if the family's income is within 150% of the federal poverty level.
This year, 14 children under the age of 17 have been murdered in Chicago.
The bill is headed to Governor JB Pritzker's desk for his signature.