The Inland Regional Center: Who They Are

MSNBC| The Inland Regional Center is the site of the deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino, California that occurred on Wednesday. The two-story building where community events are held and has staff on the second story, but none on the first, Keith Nelson, vice president for the Inland Regional Center board of trustees, said. “That building, if it’s used for a community event, the doors are open. So it’s not like buildings one and two, which are locked and has security,” he said. The center provides housing and work programs, and therapy and social services to more than 30,000 people with developmental disabilities, Nelson said. It has a little more than 550 employees, he said. Nelson said as of the latest information he’s received, all staff were accounted for. Nelson said the center would give crisis counseling for clients and staff and would look at security there in the aftermath of the shootings.

The facility is run by the state, and offers specific programs designed for four different age groups: 0 to 3-years-old; 3 to 15; 16 to 22; 23 to 59; and adults over 60. Judy Mark, secretary of the Board of Disability Rights for Northern California, told NBCNews that both clients and social service workers come to the IRC, which is the largest of 21 non-profit agencies that work with the state of California catering to people who have developmental disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy. IRC’s website was down Wednesday, presumably overcome with traffic. But according to its Facebook page, its mission is to coördinate “with generic services to normalize the lives of people with developmental disabilities and their families by working to include them in the everyday routines and life rhythms of the community and by facilitating needed supports for them.” According to the state website, the regional centers diagnose disabilities and assess eligibility for state services at no cost to clients. Some other services it offers, such as full-time out-of-home placements, come at a cost to parents for children under age 18. Alex Vasquez, a videographer for KNBC, the Los Angeles NBC affiliate, said on air that the IRC was always busy. “This is a center that is always full at all hours of the day, so I can just imagine there must have been a lot of people in that building. Sometimes I’ve been here where the line is even outside,” he said.

The Association of Regional Center Agencies, of which the Inland Regional Center is a member, said there are no known threats at other centers, but eight facilities closed early Wednesday out of an abundance of caution. “Any act of violence is a tragedy. But in a place focused on service to people with developmental disabilities, it is even harder to comprehend,” the association said in a statement. “ARCA, the regional centers, and the developmental disabilities community is united in mourning and support,” Anne Struthers, president of the association’s board of directors, said in a statement. “The victims of today’s shooting were connected to us by service to those in need. Our hearts are with all those affected.”
CNN| Victims’ names released

The San Bernardino County coroner on Thursday released the names of the 14 people killed:

• Robert Adams, 40
• Isaac Amanios, 60
• Bennetta Bet-Badal, 46
• Harry Bowman, 46
• Sierra Clayborn, 27
• Juan Espinoza, 50
• Aurora Godoy, 26
• Shannon Johnson, 45
• Larry Kaufman, 42
• Damian Meins, 58
• Tin Nguyen, 31
• Nicholas Thalasinos, 52
• Michael Wetzel, 37
• Yvette Velasco, 27

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