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Sep 7, 2018

California Fires & Debris Flow: Relief & Recovery

Thank you for your contribution to the Santa Barbara Foundation for the Community Disaster Relief Fund (CDRF) for a one year grant for a total of $100,000 in March 2018. In our last report we shared the applciation of $75,000 for our initial grantmaking immediately after the Thomas Fire (December 2018-January 2019) and the subsequent 1/9 Debris Flow. The purpose of this report is to provide a brief update on our activities since and also to share how we intend to apply the remaning $25,000 in our second Community Disaster Relief Fund (CDRF) cylce to be awarded in February 2019.

Community Disaster Relief Fund Description

The Community Disaster Relief Fund’s focus on long-term assistance is unusual. The fund builds on partnerships nurtured over the last 10 years as part of the Aware & Prepare Initiative, a countywide collaboration to strengthen emergency readiness. The Santa Barbara Foundation is also a member of the Community Long Term Recovery Group (CLTRG), which identifies individuals and families that will need sustained support because government assistance is insufficient to address all of their needs. The CLTRG meets frequently to coordinate with nonprofit organizations and government agencies.

Coordination in Grantmaking

  • The partnerships that are already in place through the Aware & Prepare Initiative as well as the Santa Barbara County Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (SBC VOAD).
  • The Foundation hosted roundtable discussions with individual donors and foundations to update them on activities as well as encourage their engagement in and support for recovery efforts.
  • Barbara Andersen, Santa Barbara Foundation’s Chief Strategy Officer, initially chaired the CLTRG before handing over the reins and now co-leads the Finance Committee to continue to coordinate funding across agencies. This is a close collaboration with United Way of Santa Barbara County to make sure that we are aligned in regards to organizations receiving support and working together to address unmet needs in the community.

January 2018

Hutton Parker Foundation decided to suspend its 2018 Core Support Grant program and replace it with a Quick Response Crisis Grant program. An initial $1 million was designated to support this special initiative. The Santa Barbara Foundation received the full list of grant award recipients to complement as needed and avoid duplication if necessary.

February 2018

Direct Relief committed funds from the 1/9 Victims Fund, which the organization established to direct financial assistance to persons who lost family members, sustained injuries requiring hospitalization, or were residents of affected areas and experienced property or financial losses as a result of the January 9, 2018 debris flow in Montecito.

March 2018

The Santa Barbara Foundation’s constant communications with partnering agencies informed our initial distribution to organizations “on the ground” providing immediate assistance and who will be there during long-term recovery operations. Therefore, our initial distribution of funds were by invitation to specific organizations. These organizations have also been identified by our local Santa Barbara County Organizations Active in Disaster (SBC VOAD) and include both national level and community-based organizations. To help make final grant decisions the following community leaders served on the CDRF Grants Committee:

  • Kathleen Riel, Chair of the Santa Barbara County Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
  • Jim Caesar, Chair of the Aware & Prepare Initiative
  • Steve Ortiz, President & CEO, United Way of Santa Barbara County
  • Yoli McGlinchey, Emergency Manager, City of Santa Barbara
  • Mimi Audelo, Emergency Manager, City of Carpinteria

April 2018

United Way of Santa Barbara County announced seven grant awards totaling $335,000 to support Thomas Fire and flood recovery. These funds were delivered in partnership with the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, which has established a Southern California Wildfire and Flood Fund.

July 2019

United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) distributed to the community 100 percent of the United Way Thomas Fire and Flood Fund donations allocated to Santa Barbara County. Phase 2 funds ($812,659) went to assist 421 households representing more than 1,200 Santa Barbara County residents. Individuals who were eligible for assistance included next of kin for individuals who lost their lives, those who suffered damage or total loss of their primary residence and/or personal property, and people who were unable to work during or after the Thomas Fire or debris flow.

December 2018

The Santa Barbara Foundation is planning for another distribution of funds. This will be an open (responsive) application process available through our standard grant application processes that will start in December 2018 with an anticipated grant award distribution in early 2019. The Foundation will continue to raise funds in the months and years ahead in support of longer term recovery efforts.

 

Collectively Served (Q2 2018 only)

Community Long Term Recovery Group and its thirty (30) member organizations and agencies have been working to support Santa Barbara County and its residents impacted by the Thomas Fire and 1/9 Debris Flow since late January. The following accomplishments are the result of a coordinated effort among community and organizational leaders as well as passionate and dedicated volunteers.

Total Volunteers: 1,573

  • Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross of the Central Coast, City of Carpinteria, Institute for Congregational Trauma & Growth, LDS Church, Calvary Chapel

Total Volunteer Hours Committed: 41,138

  • Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross of the Central Coast, City of Carpinteria, Institute for Congregational Trauma & Growth, LDS Church, Calvary Chapel

Individuals and Households Supported through Case Management Services: 575

  • Red Cross of the Central Coast, Salvation Army, Unity Shoppe

Individuals Supported through Psychological First Aid and Mental Health/Wellness: 5,800 +

  • Fifteen-member/agency Community Wellness Team

Relief Items/Supplies Provided to Individuals and Households: 23,128

  • Red Cross of the Central Coast

Debris and Structural Repair Needs Met: 87

  • Habitat for Humanity

 

Long-Term Recovery Needs

The long-term recovery process currently places our community in what is known as the “disillusionment” phase (Figure 1). “During the disillusionment phase, communities and individuals realize the limits of disaster assistance. As optimism turns to discouragement and stress continues to take a toll, negative reactions, such as physical exhaustion or substance use, may begin to surface. The increasing gap between need and assistance leads to feelings of abandonment. Especially as the larger community returns to business as usual, there may be an increased demand for services, as individuals and communities become ready to accept support. The disillusionment phase can last months and even years. It is often extended by one or more trigger events, usually including the anniversary of the disaster.” (DeWolfe, D. J., 2000. Training manual for mental health and human service workers in major disasters (2nd ed., HHS Publication No. ADM 90-538). Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.)

Nine (9) months post-disaster, we have identified three (3) areas of need:

1. Rebuilding and Reconstruction

Support the rebuilding process. Provide access to resources for low- to moderate- income families and guidance on the rebuilding process or vulnerable families displaced by the disaster.

2. Unmet Financial Support

The Foundation recently collaborated with other local agencies and volunteers to provide financial literacy for families who received funds, but need support managing them and rebuilding their lives. Financial impact to individuals is realized over time – they may be able to get through the first six months, but then are not able to make ends meet after that time. As insurance, FEMA, Small Business Loans, and grants were distributed in the second quarter of the year and case management was well underway, these needs will be collectively identified through the Long Term Recovery Group and executed in partnership with the Santa Barbara Foundation.

3. Spiritual and Emotional Care

A need identified in the early stages post-disaster from experiences at the Local Assistance Center, recent case management, reports from schools and the lack of equitable access to culturally appropriate tools and resources, has led to the prioritizing of this need at this stage post-disaster. Long-term counseling involves intensive outpatient program, individual/family group counseling, and spiritual care.

Organizational and Business Resilience

Local organizations providing direct support to those displaced or otherwise harmed by disasters have been stretched very far by our recent fires, flooding, and debris flow. Significant financial impact is also being felt by our small businesses. Below are the results of Women’s Economic Venture’s (WEV) latest disaster survey – it provides some helpful data about what their clients have been experiencing over the past 9 months. WEV is continuing to see a need for working capital, as well as marketing and financial expertise. The Foundation would like to see support for nonprofit clients who are directly involved in medium and long-term recovery efforts of the December 2018- January 2019 Thomas Fire and the consequent 1/9 Debris Flow. Displacement and loss of employment in the “gig” industry affects many of our vulnerable community members who are sole-proprietors or small business owners in the service industry (Figure 2).

Proposed Granting of Any New Funds

The Santa Barbara Foundation’s new strategic direction includes refocusing all of its responsive grant programs to prioritize vulnerable communities. This will be reflected in the next cycle of the Community Disaster Relief Fund (CDRF). Requests for proposals will be launched in December 2018 for award in early 2019. We intend to use the remaining $25,000 from GlobalGiving to support the second cycle withing the following areas:

The guidelines for the Community Disaster Relief Grants (CDRF) – Cycle 2 will iterate the following priority areas:

Rebuilding and Reconstruction ($100,000)

  • Support the rebuilding process. Provide access to resources for low- to moderate- income families for vulnerable families displaced by the disaster.
  • To provide for rebuilding, construction, and rehabilitation phases of disaster relief.

Unmet Financial Support ($100,000)

  • Responding to the next needs assessment conducted by the Community Long Term Recovery Group on financial needs for survivors of the Thomas Fire and the 1/9 Debris Flow as recovery transitions to unmet needs of individuals and families.

Spiritual and Emotional Care ($50,000)

  • To provide grief counseling, community stress support, training, support groups, grief crisis debriefings, and information/resource referral to children, families who lost family members, friends of the victims, first responders, school teachers and nonprofit staff, and the general public. (i.e. Hospice Care of Santa Barbara)
  • Through participation in the Community Wellness Team subcommittee of the CLTRG, disaster education for local organizations' leaders/staff/governing boards and community groups, and therapeutic services including counseling, post-disaster organizational development and coaching. (i.e. Riviera Care Center for Institute for Collective Trauma and Growth, Mental Wellness Center)

The rigor in our partner engagement and consistent support for services for vulnerable populations would not have been possible without donors like you. We are grateful for your support and look forward to working and learning together.

Thank you.

May 31, 2018

California Fires & Debris Flow: Relief & Recovery

Funds from the GlobalGiving online campaign are intended to contribute to the Community Disaster Relief Fund for long-term recovery efforts from the Thomas Fire and 1/9 Debris Flow in Santa Barbara County.

With the help of our GlobalGiving Foundation and other donors the Santa Barbara Foundation announced the first round of grants from the Community Disaster Relief Fund (CDRF). “When disaster strikes, an average 73% of contributions go to immediate relief, while less than 5% goes to recovery and rebuilding, a process that can take up to 10 years. Long after media attention has shifted away from our devastated communities, we know there will still be significant long-term needs for our neighbors trying to rebuild their lives.” Barbara Andersen, Chief Strategy Officer of the Santa Barbara Foundation.

Activated in the aftermath of an emergency, the CDRF supports nonprofit organizations that play a role in short-term and long-term recovery, providing critical services including emergency food distribution, immediate shelter and long-term housing, emotional and spiritual care, economic and rental assistance, education, healthcare, and more. These nonprofits support victims directly, and require funding to meet growing need. 

With the genrosity of the GlobalGiving Foundation, initial grantees were awarded a total of $275,000. $75,000 grant from the Global Giving Foundation went to community healing, rebuilding homes, and financial recovery for vulnerable communities. No funds have been raised through our online campaign at this time.

Riviera Care Center for Long Term Care for Leaders ($25,000) to provide leadership for the Community Long Term Recovery Group and the Community Wellness Team subcommittee, disaster education for local organizations' leaders/staff/governing boards and community groups, and therapeutic services including counseling, post-disaster organizational development coaching, and bodywork.

Hospice of Santa Barbara ($25,000) to provide grief counseling, community stress support, training, support groups, grief crisis debriefings, and information/resource referral to children, families who lost family members, friends of the victims, first responders, school teachers and nonprofit staff, and the general public. 

Habitat for Humanity of Southern Santa Barbara County ($25,000) to provide mud removal, rebuilding, construction, and rehabilitation phase of disaster relief and continuing its core work of building affordable homes for low-income families in our community. 

805 UndocuFund This grant will serve Santa Barbara County disaster affected immigrants in the ways mentioned above. This fund is unique because it will serve undocumented immigrants who do not qualify for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

A second phase of distribution of funds through an open grant application process is anticipated in Fall 2018. 


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