Jennifer Hudson Announces Foundation for Murder Victim Families

Jennifer Hudson Announces Foundation for Murder Victim Families
Dreamgirls
Steve Azzara/Corbis

updated 10/30/2008 at 08:15 PM EDT

originally published 10/30/2008 08:15PM

Jennifer Hudson's family announced Thursday a new foundation for families of murder victims.

The Hudson-King Foundation for Families of Slain Victims is named in honor of the singer-actress's slain mother Darnell Hudson Donerson, brother Jason Hudson and nephew Julian King.

"The specific purpose of the Foundation is to care for the needs of families who have lost relatives to a violent crime," the family says in a statement. "This encompasses their basic needs of food, clothing and shelter as well as grief counseling."

Donations to the Hudson-King Foundation can be sent:
c/o Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP
Attn: William L. Abrams, Esq.
237 West 35th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10001

The foundation announcement followed a prayer vigil Wednesday night in Chicago.

"Jennifer sang her first song in this church – she said her first prayer in this church," her cousin Shari Nichols Witt said of the Pleasant Gift Missionary Baptist Church. Witt also spoke fondly of the actress-singer's slain nephew, saying 7-year-old Julian King "seemed like he was ahead of his time."

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, who spoke at the vigil, told PEOPLE that Hudson, 27, and her family "are overwhelmed by the suddenness and the unexpectedness of it all. This family knows triumph, and they also know tragedy."

As the community grieved the loss of the Dreamgirls star's relatives, the 27-year-old parolee considered a suspect in their shooting deaths, William Balfour, remained in police custody Thursday.

Balfour – the estranged husband of Hudson's sister Julia – was being held on an alleged parole violation.

Reported by JULIE JORDAN, NIKITTA FOSTON and HILARY SHENFELD

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