Updated: Feb 9
Author: Clay Lambert
Published: January 26, 2023 Updated January 27, 2023
Generous and heartbroken people living on the Coastside and beyond have been eager to provide assistance to victims and families involved in the Jan. 23 shootings in Half Moon Bay. Several funds have taken shape in the days since the violence.
Many official sources, including the city of Half Moon Bay and San Mateo County, pointed donors toward two well-known social service nonprofits on the coast. Meanwhile, several online crowdsourcing efforts materialized over the course of the week. And on Thursday, a coalition of Asian organizations started their own fundraising efforts.
Ayudando Latinos A Soñar — better known by its acronym ALAS — was perhaps first to announce a fund dedicated to help people in the wake of the shootings. ALAS is a Latino-centered nonprofit that has been in Half Moon Bay since 2011. Since then it has grown into a well-respected, very active advocate for farmworkers and their families, delivering food, procuring a mobile healthcare bus and much more in recent months.
ALAS Executive Director Belinda Hernandez-Arriaga says the HMB Strong Fund will be spent exclusively to help the approximately 40 people who were directly victimized or otherwise traumatized at the farm locations. She said there are immediate needs for food, shelter and such and more long-term needs such has permanent housing and jobs.
“We have been working with these families at that farm for three years,” Arriaga said, noting that her team has worked with Asian as well as Latino farmworkers there. “There is a lot of trust that has been built.”
She said $20,000 was raised very quickly after the fund was established. While the fund is growing rapidly, Arriaga says the needs are great and go “beyond a week or two.”
She particularly implored Coastsiders for help with more permanent housing. She is hoping someone will come through with ideas for multifamily housing on the coast. And she said some of those employed at the farm don’t want to go back to live or work. Furthering the tragedy, Arriaga said some of those affected by the shootings already suffered flooding loss from recent storms.
“We’re committed to long-term support for these families,” she said.
Longtime social service agency Coastside Hope has also created a special fund in response to the violence. On its website, it says the Farmworkers Fund “will go directly to individuals and families affected, for lost wages, funeral expenses and any other relief and support that they may need – immediately and as they find their way forward from these horrific events."
“Coastside Hope is shocked and deeply saddened by the mass shooting that took place in Half Moon Bay. We are determined to help every individual and family affected,” the website says.
The Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. is offering to triple any contributions to the Coastside Hope or ALAS funds through its own site. For details, visit: https://half-moon-bay-brewing-company.square.site/product/ALAS_BREWCO_HMB_STRONG/74
The Silicon Valley Community Foundation has offered to help with its own Emergency and Disaster Relief Fund. The fund was established only weeks ago and a spokeswoman said in an email to the Review it is now being used to mitigate the tragedy that unfolded in Half Moon Bay. To donate through the foundation, see siliconvalleycf.org/.
In addition to funds established by longtime area nonprofits, there are crowdfunding efforts on sites like GoFundMe.com. One was organized by Chinese for Affirmative Action and includes as sponsors the Asian Law Caucus, the Asian American Foundation, Stop AAPI Hate, Asian Pacific Fund, Stand with Asian Americans and Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics. It can be found at gofundme.com/f/half-moon-bay-victims-fund.
The state is prepared to help as well. Some local victims could get help from the California Victims Compensation Board, which provides assistance to crime victims.