Half Moon Bay Mass Shooting: Who's Helping Community Members and How to Support These Efforts

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An elderly Latina woman lights a candle at a memorial
A woman holds candles at a makeshift memorial to honor mass shooting victims on Jan. 24, 2023, in Half Moon Bay. Seven people were killed and one critically wounded in shootings at two separate locations in Half Moon Bay on Jan. 23. (Liu Guanguan/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images)

A network of San Mateo County residents and community groups have mobilized to support the families of those killed in Monday’s mass shooting in Half Moon Bay. A gunman killed five men and two women who worked at two different mushroom farms on the outskirts of Half Moon Bay, marking California's third mass killing in just eight days.

The attack has shaken the coastside community, home to many of the immigrant farmworkers who lift up San Mateo County’s agricultural sector. “Some of the farmworker communities here in the coast and other locations live together for decades, sometimes even generations living in the same place,” said Half Moon Bay Vice Mayor Joaquín Jiménez Ureña.

The farms where the gunman opened fire were also homes to the dozens of workers and their families. However, these sites have now been closed off as active crime scenes, leaving these families without work or a place to live. “All 17 families should have received a check already to start the financial assistance,” said County Supervisor Ray Mueller, whose district includes Half Moon Bay. “We’re trying to make up for the fact that they are without wages. Right now, they have immediate needs.”

A tribute banner is displayed along with seven candles and flowers in a makeshift memorial to honor mass shooting victims at Mac Dutra Park in Half Moon Bay, on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. Seven adults were killed by one suspect at two different locations on Monday. (Ray Chavez/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images)

The county has been working closely with community groups Ayudando Latinos a Soñar (ALAS) and Coastside Hope to provide temporary hotel accommodations, meals and counseling to the families. On Wednesday, San Mateo County Board of Supervisors President David Pine told KQED that officials are also looking into providing “wage backup” for displaced workers to discuss in next Tuesday’s board meeting.

Officials and community members have stressed the need to center the mental and physical health needs of the affected farmworkers as part of the community's recovery. Here is a list of groups offering aid to the affected families and the community of Half Moon Bay at large, regardless of immigration status:

ALAS is working directly with each of the displaced families to provide them with food, housing and counseling. ALAS is also offering free counseling to anyone in Half Moon Bay at their location of 636 Purissima Street. Doors open every day at 9:30 a.m. and walk-ins are accepted. You can also call (650) 560-8947.

Coastside Hope is working with county officials to distribute financial relief to the families displaced by the shooting.

Samaritan House, one of the largest social services groups in San Mateo County, is providing hot meals to workers and displaced families. Laura Bent, CEO of Samaritan House, confirmed with KQED that the organization is also offering mental health support to county residents through its behavioral health program. To connect with these services, you can call (650) 341-4081.

StarVista provides counseling and crisis prevention services in San Mateo County. The group’s early childhood program is working with preschool programs in the coastside region to offer groups for parents and educators on how to support young children after a tragedy. Family members or friends of the victims can call the 24/7 crisis hotline at (650) 579-0350, which offers support over the phone and in person.

Additionally, California has created a fund to provide financial compensation for victims, their families and witnesses of mass violence events, through the California Victim Compensation Board. Those who witnessed the shooting in Half Moon Bay and family members of those killed or injured can apply to receive up to $70,000 for medical expenses or to make up for lost income. For more information on eligibility, you can call (800) 777-9229.

Ways you can help

County officials have said that those looking to make donations to the affected families can do so by giving to ALAS or Coastside Hope. Details on ALAS’s HMB Strong Fund can be found here; and information on how to donate to Coastside Hope is available here.

On its end, GoFundMe has verified a fundraiser created by Servando Martínez, brother of Marciano Martínez Jiménez, who was killed in the shooting. The money raised will be used to pay for funeral costs and transport Martínez Jiménez’s body back to Oaxaca, Mexico. You can access this fundraiser, and learn more about the life Martinez Jiménez led in Half Moon Bay, here.

KQED will continue to review other fundraisers created to support the families of the victims and update this list.

The Farmworker Caravan, a mutual aid collective that provides emergency supplies to agricultural workers across California, has organized a food and clothing drive this week to deliver to ALAS. The drive took place on Wednesday in San José, but the group is looking for volunteers on Thursday to sort through and pack the donations at the San José Woman’s Club on 75 South 11th Street. You can sign up to volunteer here.

This article includes reporting from KQED’s Madi Bolaños and Marisa Lagos.