This is the third monthly update on fire recovery efforts in Mendocino County. Previous fire recovery articles are available at the
Community Foundation's website
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The details of a community recovery are immense. From propane to power poles, mailboxes to bedding, the needs of every survivor are unique and varied. The Mendocino - Rebuilding Our Community Team (M-ROC) is the long-term recovery committee, chaired by the Community Foundation, which is working to bring together community organizations, the County of Mendocino, businesses, and individuals to help survivors of the Redwood Complex Fire rebuild their lives. To achieve such a broad goal M-ROC has formed into a collection of subcommittees focused on specific needs. These include Case Management, Emotional and Spiritual Support, Material Needs, Construction and Housing, Finance and Fundraising, and Unmet Needs.
The heart of the M-ROC rebuilding effort is with the Case Management Committee. With the support of grant funds, NCO and the County of Mendocino have hired a team of case managers to work directly with survivors of the fire who lost their homes. To date 370 families have been identified as having lost their homes and case managers are reaching out to each family to check-in on their well-being and needs. These check-in calls will establish relationships between case management and fire survivors for ongoing support as they work through the recovery and rebuilding process.
Once a family is connected with a case manager, their needs can be identified and referred to available resources. These may include anything from funds to build a power pole so they can place a temporary trailer on their property, a deposit to get into a rental home, or a counselor to provide emotional support. These resources are made available through the M-ROC subcommittees and supported by the Disaster Fund for Mendocino County.
The Emotional and Spiritual Support Committee, comprised of mental health providers and faith-based organizations, works to bring together resources for survivors who are struggling with the aftermath of the fires.
The Material Needs Committee has been fortunate to build upon the extraordinary efforts of Danilla Sands at the Ukiah Relief Center, and the Potter Valley Donation Center. These two centers have joined the M-ROC team to continue to help survivors with everything from food to clothes, bedding to furniture.
The Construction Committee is an important component of the rebuilding effort, and we are fortunate to have the expertise of the Hope Crisis Response Network (HCRN). With focused attention on recovery after a natural disaster, HCRN will lead the charge in rebuilding homes for uninsured and underinsured families identified by the Case Management Committee. With the support of volunteers pulled from across the nation, HCRN plans to break ground in the early spring. It is towards construction of these homes we envision allocating much of the Disaster Fund's resources to re-home families in need.
The final two committees that make up the M-ROC team, Finance/Fundraising and Unmet Needs, have been meeting jointly to develop a prioritized process to get the most vulnerable fire survivors into homes. Finance/Fundraising identifies and pursues avenues of financial support to continue to grow the Disaster Fund. The Unmet Needs Committee will review cases brought by the Case Managers for financial support. These committees work jointly to ensure funds are available for the long-term rebuilding process, while survivors with critical needs are being helped in the short-term.
Comprised of over 70 people, the dedicated work of these individuals that make up M-ROC reflect the community spirit that make Mendocino Strong more than a slogan. We are united in numbers and spirit to support our friends and neighbors as they rebuild their lives and continue to call Mendocino County home.
Monetary donations are still being accepted by the Disaster Fund for Mendocino County. If you would like to make a further contribution towards these efforts visit www.communityfound.org.