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Mendocino – Rebuilding Our Community fire recovery committee formed

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

In response to the many generous offers being made for community support and the need for long-term resources for fire survivors, the County of Mendocino, the Community Foundation of Mendocino County, North Coast Opportunities along with faith-based leaders and community partners have formed Mendocino–Rebuilding Our Community (M-ROC), a long-term fire recovery committee.

Mendocino-ROC is charged with coordinating the overwhelming amount of immediate support that has already been pledged for fire survivors, developing a long-term strategy to secure and direct resources, and to address needs as they develop during the recovery and rebuild effort.

The efforts of the committee are meant to complement the numerous activities and responses that have emerged throughout the community to address the disaster-related needs of individuals and families directly affected by the Redwood Complex Fire.

To achieve such a broad goal, Mendocino-ROC has formed into a collection of subcommittees focused on specific needs. These include: Case Management, Emotional and Spiritual Support, Material Needs, Construction, Finance and Fundraising, and Unmet Needs.

The heart of the Mendocino-ROC rebuilding effort is with the Case Management Committee. With the support of grant funds, NCO and the County of Mendocino have hired case managers to work directly with survivors of the fire who lost their homes.

To date, 370 families have been identified through case managers who are reaching out to each family to check-in on their well-being and needs. These check-in calls establish relationships between case management and fire survivors for ongoing support as they work through the recovery and rebuilding process.

The case managers rely on the resources created and compiled by the other subcommittees. The Material Needs Committee, in collaboration with the Ukiah Fire Relief Center and the Potter Valley Disaster Resource Center, is working directly with survivors through the Case Management process to outfit them with household and personal items to the best of their ability.

The Construction Committee is an important component of the rebuilding effort, and fortunate to have the expertise of Hope Crisis Response Network. With focused attention on recovery after a natural disaster, HCRN is a leader in rebuilding homes for uninsured and underinsured families identified by the case managers.

With the support of volunteers pulled from across the nation, HCRN hopes to break ground in the early spring. It is toward construction of these homes that Mendocino-ROC envisions allocating much of the available funds to “re-home” families in need.

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 final two committees that make up the Mendocino-ROC team, Finance/Fundraising and Unmet Needs, have been jointly developing a prioritized process to support the most vulnerable survivors. These committees work collaboratively 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 80 people, the dedicated work of the individuals who make up Mendocino-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.

The point of access to Mendocino-ROC for survivors is through the Redwood Resource Room located inside the Ukiah Valley Conference Center, or by calling 707-621-8817.

For anyone interested in getting involved with Mendocino-ROC as a volunteer, please contact Rose Bell, project manager, at rosebellconsulting@gmail.com.

For information on fire recovery resources, visit: https://www.mendocinocounty.org/community/mendocino-strong.