A center to help all El Pasoans move forward after the mass shooting at the Cielo Vista Walmart is in the works and will open soon.
It’s part of the City of El Paso’s efforts to provide long-term recovery for those looking for any kind of relief.
The Family Assistance Center will close on Tuesday at 8 p.m. However, a new Resiliency Center will open not just for those immediately affected, but for the entire community.
“As you look into these incidents, things transpired a certain rate. Everyone is in the mourning state right now. It’s going to go through several phases,” Mario D’Agostino, the Chief of the El Paso Fire Department said.
The City’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Team is currently working on the long term recovery for everyone affected by the mass shooting by opening this Resiliency Center.
“That resiliency center signals that long term effort. Changing from the immediate needs like getting the drivers license, vehicles or belongings back to the victims and their families.. it’s the longer needs,” D’Agostino explained, “How is it going to affect mental health across the community, our first responders, store employees, anyone who was there on that site. So it’s that transition. “
D’Agostino said the center will have four main focuses. The first, “Making sure that we have that link and connection, not only for first responders, but the public at large to make sure they have the services they need.”
Also, it plans to establish a recovery organization managing the relief efforts, pursue funding sources to be better prepared, and incorporate lessons learned.
OEM also received help from outside communities such as the Henderson/Las Vegas area and Orlando, who previously experienced similar tragedies and opened Resiliency Centers as well.
“So this resiliency center plan, it’s going to look a lot like they’ve done in the past. We’re taking all that input. What’s even better is they’re giving us their gaps. What did they miss when they first did it. So we’re taking that account and making sure we have all that covered,” D’Agostino said.
A location has yet to be determined. It’s expected to be decided by the end of the week, but will open next week.