On the six-month anniversary of the deadly Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen’s office joined other local officials and service providers to open the Gilroy Strong Resiliency Center.
Located at the Neon Exchange, 7365 Monterey Street in downtown Gilroy, the center is devoted to providing a variety of ongoing assistance for all survivors of the July 28, 2019 mass shooting that left three festival attendees dead.
In remarks commemorating the opening of the Resilience Center Jan. 28, Rosen said long-term trauma from such violent public incidents happens in many forms, and affects people in different ways.
“There are people wounded that were not shot,” Rosen said. “Their mental anguish is real, and it is serious.” Such trauma can be manifest in ongoing depression, nightmares, substance abuse, dropouts and relationship difficulties.
The Resiliency Center brings together resources from a variety of public and nonprofit agencies to provide counseling, trauma education and other services. “Starting tonight, we will be here to serve every member of the community impacted by the tragedy at the Gilroy Garlic Festival and their family members,” Rosen said at the Jan. 28 opening.
The Resiliency Center grand opening was also a celebration of the strength and unity that Gilroy and neighboring communities showed in the aftermath of the July 28 shooting. Rosen recognized the youth winners and participants of the DA’s office’s “Justice for All” high school art contest. The theme for this year’s contest was #GilroyStrong.
The top three winners stood next to the podium with their artwork as Rosen spoke. Dozens of original poster-sized paintings and drawings, submitted by students throughout Santa Clara County, were displayed throughout the Neon Exchange during the grand opening.
First place winner Ana Gabriela Cadena of Abraham Lincoln High School in San Jose was the first prize winner in the poster contest. The second place poster was created by Isabella Kimerer of Sobrato High School in Morgan Hill, and third place was Jasmine Martinez of TJ Owens Gilroy Early College Academy. Rosen handed the top three winners a check for their prize.
Gabriela Cadena briefly described her work to the crowd: “I wanted to focus on the unity of Gilroy and Santa Clara County, and how that is far more important than anything else.”