Hundreds of Ventura County residents are still feeling the cost of the catastrophic floods in December

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A local non-profit is stepping in, in the absence of getting assistance from FEMA.

The flash flooding in the morning of December 21st in Oxnard, Port Hueneme and Ventura impacted some of the most vulnerable residents – including seniors in low-income communities.

“Ultimately, what it really felt like for this area was like a tornado, which has just left significant destruction in its wake,” said Vanessa Bechtel, the Executive Director of The Ventura County Community Foundation.

She says funds are desperately needed to help those affected, as qualifying for FEMA assistance has been unsuccessful because the threshold is at least 1200 destroyed structures.

“Community members find themselves without any support. We think about the impact, and we’re talking about people unable to go home – many whose homes were just destroyed,” said Bechtel.

Absent meeting that threshold and obtaining FEMA assistance, residents are left with just one option for help, she said – a low-interest disaster relief loan from the Small Business Administration. However, to qualify for a loan, you must be a U.S. Citizen and be capable of paying back the funds you have borrowed. Many of the areas impacted were home to low-income residents incapable of paying back a loan, as well as undocumented individuals who do not meet the eligibility requirements of the Small Business Administration, she explained.

100% of donations will be distributed to the community, said Bechtel.

There’s more information on how to contribute on the VCCF website.

This article was originally published by KCLU.

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