A local assistance center is being held in Rio Dell throughout this weekend to help those affected by last week’s earthquake with various resources such as; financial help, as well as mental health and food.
The Local Assistance Center Manager, Cris Koczar, was working hard this afternoon along with the many other organizations to ensure that everyone who showed up was getting the help they needed.
“So today and tomorrow we have state and county and local nonprofit agencies who are in a position to determine eligibility for direct financial assistance,” Koczar said. “For those who are impacted by the earthquake earlier this month.”
The American Red Cross of Humboldt County is one of 20 organizations providing services at the center, as well as providing any disaster relief throughout the county. Andrew Boggar, the Disaster Program Manager of the American Red Cross in Humboldt County, explained the resources they have been providing this past week and a half.
“The work that our teams have done throughout the last week is assessing damage within homes, we’re then been taking that information and using it to determine eligibility for financial assistance,” Bogar said.
The American Red Cross of Humboldt County is always looking for volunteers. With disasters like this, the Red Cross needs to be prepared at all times.
“We have a little over 20 volunteers doing things here and there…there’s volunteers who are working in the shelter, volunteers who are distributing food, folks who are working behind the scenes, making sure that people have the things that they need,” Bogar said. “Individuals who were affected by the disaster, also individuals from outside of our community… The power of the Red Cross is to bring people to us when we need it the most and we need it at this time.”
Food for People was also outside the center, continuing to hand out as much produce and meals for households trying to fill up their pantry.
“Last time we were out here, we were doing a lot of ready to eat meal kits because water still wasn’t on, gas wasn’t back on, i don’t think, at the moment, so we were doing a lot of immediate meals,” The Development Director of Food for People, Carly Robbins said. “Today we have a lot more fresh foods to help people replenish their pantries, especially if they lost food.”
Many have been displaced, living in hotels or emergency centers; others are dealing with tremendous damage to their homes. However the efforts of the communities and organizations around Humboldt are truly being shown.
“There is something that is a common thread with every disaster, and that’s that it starts local and ends local,” Koczar said. “Often we talk about our county or our state or our federal disaster relief and really when it comes down to it, it’s that local entity, and so you see that here in Rio Dell specifically that this community is coming together.”
The assistance center will continue tomorrow (Sat.) from 9 a.m.-5p.m.
To find out ways to volunteer for the Red Cross check out: www.redcross.org/local/california/northern-california-coastal/about-us/locations/north-bay.html
And to see where Food for People distribution sites will be check out: www.foodforpeople.org