San Jose VTA Shooting: How to Help Victims, Families and Those Personally Affected
A day after a mass shooting left 10 people dead in San Jose, officials said the focus now needs to be on how to support those personally touched by the tragedy.
On NPR’s Morning Edition, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said the community is still reeling and feeling “numb.”
“We’ve got families who have lost loved ones, and co-workers who have lost friends,” said Liccardo. “And I think our task now is to do everything we can to support them, and to help them begin the path of healing.”
If you’re personally seeking support after this event, or looking for ways to support people who’ve been directly impacted, read on for links to use and share. We’ll continue to update these resources as we find them.
How to Find Support For Yourself or Others
Family Assistance Center
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office said the Family Assistance Center (FAC) is ready to help victims, family members, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority employees and anyone else who have been impacted.
The FAC is open Thursday at the American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter at 2731 N. 1st St. in San Jose from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (408) 209-8356.
The San Jose District Attorney has confirmed that there are Spanish speakers onsite, and a language line is available.
Services available include:
Counseling and other support services Resources around accessing the California Victim Compensation Program
We are Here and Ready to Help. Open TODAY from 11:00 to 7:00 at the American Red Cross 2731 N. 1st Street in San Jose. (408) 209-8356 pic.twitter.com/UNWDgTHLAD
— Santa Clara DA (@SantaClaraDA) May 27, 2021
Other Support Services Available
Community members looking for emotional support can contact the Suicide and Crisis Hotline at 1-855-278-4204 or the County of Santa Clara Behavioral Health Services at 1-800-704-0900.
Support is also available by texting RENEW to 741741. (Text services available in English only).
A VTA spokesperson said that the agencyâs human resources department will also be reaching out to the families of all the victims to help them “navigate the multiple benefits and resources that they will need to cope with the days ahead.”
At a press event Thursday, Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez commended the the countyâs behavioral health department and the district attorneyâs victim advocates group for providing families with crucial support in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, and urged the community to access the help they’re entitled to.
“I just want to say to everybody whoâs listening, if you need help, reach out. There are so many ways to get services and we donât want a single person to go without the services that they need,” she said.
How to Support Victims and Others Who’ve Been Affected
Make a Donation
Donations in support of victims and their families can be made through Working Partnerships USA‘s Union Community Resources program, to their VTA Solidarity Fund.
Working Partnerships is a community public policy and organizing group based in the South Bay that works closely with the labor movement.
“We have a program that can provide both financial assistance, but also counseling and support,” said Jeff Barrera, communications director for Working Partnership USA. “During tragedies like this one, we can use that program to pretty quickly provide broader relief.”
The Working Partnerships fund was created on behalf of the workers and their families. Barrera said it will provide whatever support and assistance is needed for families to get through this crisis.
Working Partnerships USA also offers a multilingual support line: (408) 809-2122.
Another fund is being set up by the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents workers at VTA, including some of the victims. The group called on its members and others through its Disaster Relief Fund.
Attend a Vigil
A vigil will be held at the San Jose City Hall Plaza on Thursday at 6 p.m. to honor those whose lives were lost to the shooting.
Tonight, we will be hosting a vigil at City Hall plaza honoring yesterday's VTA shooting victims. @Caltrain's Diridon Station will be providing free train rides to passengers who notify conductors that they are traveling to or from the vigil. pic.twitter.com/7sxfgQPN58
— Sam Liccardo (@sliccardo) May 27, 2021
Elected officials, local leaders and other community members are expected to attend.
Matthew Green contributed to this report.
Copyright 2021 KQED