Ordained Clergy/Mental Health Professionals 
Asked to Self Organize 
as Pastoral Care Teams for Fire Victims

The City of Santa Rosa has requested help with their repopulation efforts of neighborhoods affected by the recent, and ongoing, catastrophic fires. The City has requested Pastoral Care and Mental Health teams to be made available this  Wednesday through Sunday (October 18 - 22), 8 am - 5pm , to be present as areas open up one by one. During this time only residents and approved support personnel will be allowed into neighborhoods.

*Please note that this is a tentative schedule as any opening of affected areas is on approval for safety by CAL Fire.


Teams of 3-5, ordained ministers or licensed mental health professionals moving together through neighborhoods offering emotional support to persons in area. Please note that even those with houses still standing may be deeply affected by this incident.

Teams once formed will register the Emotional and Spiritual Care Officer (contact listed below). They will be given directions and a time to meet for the opening they are assigned to assist with. Teams can register for multiple days. Please register as soon as possible; people must be registered and vetted to be allowed in. Vetting will be a simple verification of the team's association with the Congregation or Organization they claim affiliation with.

Once the restrictions on neighborhoods have been lifted, and public access is granted, teams can assist as they are moved to do so; many opportunities to help those affected by this fire exist well after this initial effort is concluded.


Teams moving through areas should announce themselves to residents, ask permission if entering a property or house, even if it is little more than a foundation. Be kind, be gentle. Do what your heart moves you to do. Our aim is to support their grieving process, and we want to make sure the residents do not feel imposed upon. You are being asked because we trust your capabilities. There will be a briefing before you are deployed in to the area you are scheduled to serve. You may be given water, food, or perhaps other items to offer to the people you meet; this can be a great way to open the dialogue.


Once you have a team, please contact:

Lt. Felicia Grant, Salvation Army: (209) 509-9680

Please be considerate of her time as she is being asked to coordinate a sizable response. She will ask the  names of your team members and who the lead on your team is, cell phone numbers for each member (important for safety), congregation affiliation, languages spoken, and any professional licenses your team may possess.

You will be present at the scene of a major disaster; please be prepared. And, this is a chance to make a real impact on people's lives. Lead with your heart and you will know the best actions to take. Listen more than speak. Thank you for your willingness. We look forward to hearing from you.

John A. McKnight

Director, Emergency Disaster Services, The Salvation Army
San Francisco Interfaith Council Board Member