FIRE RECOVERY

FIRE RECOVERY

Thank you for your support.

A message from Len Marabella, ED of Catholic Charities:

You should be proud of being part of this community. I want to share with you the amazing work that has happened so far because of the incredible generosity Catholic Charities has experienced.

Like thousands of neighbors around me, I lost my home the first day of the Tubbs Fire. Working at Catholic Charities during those first hours and then weeks, the astounding love and compassion of our community inspired me to get through each difficult day. From the beginning, I was surrounded by colleagues, volunteers, and donors who gave deeply and selflessly to make sure everyone around them was safe. 

As an agency, because of this outpouring of love, we were able to alleviate much suffering in those early days of the disaster. From day one, we:

  • Increased the number of beds in our existing emergency shelters to accommodate people displaced by the fires.

  • Increased local hospitals' capacity for fire victims by housing homeless patients who were ready to be discharged.

  • Conducted emergency Immigration Services such as replacement of identification and immigration papers.

  • Provided Disaster Case Management at the Local Assistance Center for fire victims.

  • Distributed goods and gift cards to fire survivors throughout the county.

Most recently, Catholic Charities assumed operation of the one remaining Fire Evacuation Center at Finley Community Center in Santa Rosa. For the 74 residents without homes who remained living at the evacuation center, we provided intensive housing location and resource navigation support services in addition to managing daily operations of the shelter and meals. Once the evacuation center closed, we were able to offer every familly an option of continued safe housing while we continue nto help them secure their permanent new homes.

Perhaps most important is the reminder that this is the work that Catholic Charities has been doing in this community for over 60 years. The fires only strengthened our resolve to serve -- and showed more than ever how much we are needed. Because this is what we do -- helping our most vulnerable neighbors rebuild lives broken by unimaginable loss and challenge -- Catholic Charities is ready to help our community recover and rebuild.

We know a second wave of homelessness is likely as more people struggle with the reality of our already limited local rental inventory, and the lack of adequate affordable housing for lower and middle income families.  We know that the work of putting lives together will take time.  We also know that work has to start now. We need to expand our services in the areas of Housing Location, Recovery Case Management and Immigration Services. 

To respond to these new needs in our community, we are hiring additional staff in positions related directly to fire recovery efforts. See the listings under "Community and Fire Recovery Positions"  on our website.  Please share this link widely, as we have other critical openings as well to continue the important work of serving our community.

Thank you so much for being part of the community of Catholic Charities.

With gratitude and hope,

Len Marabella, Executive Director