The Mariposas Resiliency Center, the first of its kind in Santa Clara County, has opened its doors to provide support for victims of violent crimes. The center, previously known as the Gilroy Strong Resiliency Center, was established in January 2020 following the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting in July 2019. It initially focused on assisting those affected by the shooting but soon recognized the need to support victims of other violent crimes as well.
The grand opening of the Mariposas Resiliency Center was celebrated with art displays from students across the county and musical performances by the Brownwell Middle School Choir from Gilroy. Notable attendees included Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeffrey Rosen and Gilroy Mayor Marie Blankley.
The center, which received a two-year, $1.4 million grant from the California Victim Compensation Board, will now be able to expand its services to victims of all violent crimes. Additionally, four new staff members will be added to the existing team of six. The Mariposas center will offer counseling, support groups, criminal justice advocacy, case management, and mental health support to survivors, regardless of their income or medical insurance status.
The Mariposas Resiliency Center aims to provide a safe space for healing and transformation, symbolized by the three butterflies on its logo representing the three victims of the Garlic Festival shooting: Stephen Romeo, 6, Keyla Salazar, 13, and Trevor Irby, 25. District Attorney Rosen expressed his hope that the center will be the first of three such centers in Santa Clara County, with the 526 Center in San Jose being considered for the next location.
The Mariposas Resiliency Center is committed to breaking the stigma surrounding seeking help for victims of violent crimes and aims to provide accessible support to individuals who are undocumented, monolingual Spanish speakers, youth, people on probation, or those who have not officially reported their victimization.