FLORESVILLE, Texas — It's been almost one year since the tragedy in Sutherland Springs.
From the beginning, agencies on the local, state, and national levels have stepped up to help the community heal.
Paloma Place is a new center in Floresville will be a permanent facility to serve Wilson County.
It is offering free services to people in the region that need it, and they're also integrating unique therapies like art, play, and encouraging plenty of imagination to help.
"When I got into this field I wanted to help people," Paloma Place Program Director Ashley Jesse said. "Then you don't realize what this kind of situation, until you see it. I was like, that is my dream job, and to also be able to help people after what this community has experienced, is a blessing and I consider it to be an honor.”
Thursday marked the official dedication of Paloma Place. It's a collaboration between The Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas and UTSA, but counselors and agencies have been helping in Wilson County from the beginning. Before moving into this space, they were using locations within Floresville ISD.
"It's just kind of like, roll your sleeves up, it's family," Floresville City Manager Henrietta Turner said. "Generations of families that were affected is such a sad story. But we've been able to come together, we've been able to pray together and cry together, and mourn together.”
People started coming to Paloma Place back in July. Thanks to a federal grant, all services are free for people living in Wilson County.
"Everyone heals differently and processes grief and trauma differently. You can't put a set time on healing, it's something that always stays with you when you've gone through a tragedy or a trauma. There's always constant reminders. Anniversary dates, those things," Jesse said.