As millions of acres continue to burn throughout the western United States, our hearts are heavy for the communities once again in harm’s way. We hope to provide a bit of hope as we announce grants made in California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington to support recovery from last year’s fires and to help mitigate against the effects of future fires.
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) California Wildfires Recovery Fund supports communities across the state as they rebuild and recover from wildfires and look to implement changes that mitigate the effects of future fires. Here are the most recent grants awarded from this fund:
All Hands and Hearts – $150,000 to help the people of Butte County and other fire-affected communities recover from past wildfires and mitigate risks from future fires. They will accelerate work on creating a fuel break around the town of Paradise by expanding the capacity of the Butte Co. FireSafe Council. Additionally, they will create defensible spaces around homes and make parks, other public areas and campgrounds safer and less susceptible to wildfires by performing forest management activities. Finally, they operate an ongoing sawyer (chainsaw) training program to supply skilled staff and volunteers for mitigation activities in Butte Co. and can replicate or migrate the activities to other places in California as needed.
Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies (COPE) Northern Sonoma County – $100,000 to fund a project coordinator/grants administrator and outreach coordinator to help build organizational capacity for the recovery process. Funds also provide for defensible space clearing to prevent the spread of future fires.
Humboldt Area Foundation – $250,000 to subgrant to local organizations serving the most marginalized populations in their four-county service area significantly affected by last season’s fires. A portion of these funds will support local Indigenous communities most disproportionately affected by the fires and have limited access to resources. Some funding for this grant comes from the CDP COVID-19 Response Fund to support recovery from the layered effects of multiple disasters on these communities.
La Familia Sana – $150,000 to provide group and individual mental health counseling to members of the Latinx community who have been devastated by the loss of income due to wildfires and the cascading impacts of stress, depression and anxiety arising from concerns over necessities such as food security, housing, health and the effects on family life. Unresolved mental health issues that arose from past fires are exacerbated by the current extreme drought and fears of fires.
Latino Community Foundation (LCF) – $200,000 to LCF’s Wildfire Relief and Love Not Fear funds. The Wildfire Relief Fund supports Latino-led grassroots organizations on the frontlines of relief and recovery efforts. Funding provides emergency assistance and builds resilience in Latino and undocumented communities across California. LCF’s Love Not Fear Fund provides direct relief to California’s most marginalized Latino and farmworker communities. The CDP COVID-19 Response Fund provided supplemental funding to support the layered traumatic effects of multiple disasters on these communities.
North Bay Jobs with Justice – $150,000 to build organizational capacity and support worker-led campaigns for a just recovery from fires. This funding will help North Bay Jobs with Justice deepen its work with farmworkers during wildfires; broaden outreach to affected workers, to assist with clean up and rebuilding; and develop a vision for creating good jobs doing climate adaptation and mitigation that is necessary to make its community and land more fire resilient.
Northern California Indian Development Council – $150,000 to assist two Native American tribes with developing pilot emergency response plans to better prepare for future disasters and other emergencies. This work creates a template for California tribes to create emergency response plans and provides technical assistance and consulting services to assist them with tailoring the projects to their needs as necessary.
United Way of Santa Cruz County – $289,986 to coordinate long-term recovery efforts and simplify access to support for people affected by fires who do not have adequate personal resources for unmet needs. This effort focuses on the four communities most affected by the CZU Lightning Fires: Boulder Creek, Bonny Doon, Swanton and Last Chance.
United Way of Northern California – $98,978 to expand an existing housing subsidy program for people displaced by the Camp Fire in 2018 and survivors of the 2020 North Complex, Zogg and Slater Fires in Butte, Shasta and Siskiyou counties.
Grand Foundation – $194,840 to build organizational capacity for long-term recovery. The grant will help fund a disaster coordinator for the long-term recovery group and support the disaster case management process. Additionally, it will enable Grand Foundation to hire a liaison who will help with volunteer and construction coordination.
National Fish and Wildlife Federation – $250,000 to help communities restore natural resources, particularly river and stream corridors; water quality and essential wildlife habitat significantly affected by the 2020 Colorado wildfires. It will include areas in Grand County damaged considerably by the East Troublesome and Williams Fork fires. The project will also assist preparation and mitigation efforts in other areas of western Colorado currently without active forest management activities.
Carlton Complex Long Term Recovery – $108,708 to cover operational expenses. Funding allows for disaster case management and volunteer coordination and addresses unmet needs for those communities most affected by this substantial complex fire.
Latino Community Fund of Washington State – $214,000 to sustain its work with local grassroots community organizations supporting the Latinx community affected by the 2020 wildfires. Outreach takes place at community centers, schools, churches, parks and other community hubs as defined by community leaders.
United Way of Whitman County and Pine Creek Community Restoration Long Term Recovery Organization – $100,000 to support the Malden City Park’s revitalization destroyed in the Babb Road Fire.
Cascade Relief Team – $30,000 to support volunteer cleanup of fire-damaged properties.
DevNW through Corvalis Neighborhood Housing Services – $75,000 to provide essential support and resource navigation services for families affected by Oregon’s Labor Day 2020 wildfires. Efforts help survivors navigate recovery processes that are challenging, lengthy and unfamiliar, and reduces additional trauma as they begin to pick up the pieces of their lives and livelihoods.
Glide Revitalization – $64,680 to provide fire survivors with case management support and resources to put their lives, homes and properties back together in a meaningful way.
The Hearth – $15,000 rapid response grant awarded in November of 2020 to support the Compassionate Listening Project, which organizes, trains, equips and deploys local community members to provide high-quality, neighbor-to-neighbor, emotional care to the diverse residents of Southern Oregon suffering from fire disasters. The Hearth developed these training materials and programs to be replicated in other communities.
Lomakatsi Restoration Project – $400,000 to provide capacity funding to meet the growing demand for services supporting tribal, Latinx and rural forest-based communities that have been directly affected by the 2020 wildfires or are at high risk for future wildfires in Oregon and California. This work includes the collaborative development of post-fire ecological restoration projects, hazardous fuels reduction and forest health treatments, and workforce training and development programs that build the capacity of local communities and provide sustainable jobs.
Oregon Community Foundation – $100,000 rapid response grant awarded in November of 2020 for the 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund to catalyze recovery and rebuilding efforts in the mid-and long-term.
Rogue Climate – $100,000 to provide immediate basic needs for fire survivors from the Almeda and nearby fires with as few barriers as possible and a place to find other resources and community support.
Natives of One Wind Indigenous Alliance/Unete – $100,000 to provide emergency resources, reduce food insecurity and provide educational support for families impacted by the Almeda wildfire.
As we watch the fires rage again this year, we keep our eyes focused on ways to support these communities affected year after year. And we work to find ways to work with our partners there to prevent and protect those most often in need of an equitable response and recovery.