What is the Ventura County Community Thomas Fire Continued Support?
The Ventura County Community Thomas Fire Continued Support Fund was created in December 2017 to address the mid- to long-term needs of Ventura County to recover and rebuild from the devastating fires that have struck our community.
Why immediate relief and medium- to long-term support?
When a disaster strikes, on average 73% goes to immediate relief, while the recovery and rebuilding process can take up to 10 years. We know there will be significant and long-term needs for our fellow community members to rebuild their lives. Long after media attention has shifted away from our community, we will be here, committed to providing support that addresses the most critical needs of our nonprofits and their clients.
Why Ventura County Community Foundation?
Disasters are chaotic, but the response should not be. With 30 years of experience in philanthropy we know how to make strategic, thoughtful, and impactful grants. To date, we’ve given out close to $100 million to local organizations addressing issues such as housing, hunger, economic well-being, and mental health. To learn more about our role in recovery and rebuilding, we encourage you to read this Forbes article entitled 10 Ways Community Foundations Are a Best-Bet for Disaster Giving.
How will you decide what to support?
As funders with 30 years of experience in grantmaking in Ventura County, we will rely on our thorough due diligence process to identify and vet organizations to receive funding.
In the aftermath of a disaster, the immediate relief needs are clear—shelter, food, cash, and other basic needs. Recovery and rebuilding is more complex and depends on each community’s needs. While we can’t yet predict what those needs will be, we will use our experience to:
- Convene our nonprofit partners who are working with people impacted by the fires
- Collaborate with a diverse range of leaders and agencies to support our community
- Conduct a due diligence process to effectively support those who need us the most
In other communities, recovery efforts have included basic needs as well as longer term economic, health and social supports.
Who will the Ventura County Community Thomas Fire Continued Support Fund support?
Our nonprofits provide critical services across the county, providing shelter and long-term housing, economic and rental assistance, legal services, education, healthcare, and more. These nonprofits will be supporting fire victims directly and will need the capacity to grow their services to meet the need. Our funds will support these nonprofits who are providing direct services to those impacted by the fires.
Through all of our grantmaking, we address issues of disparity in our community. Many low-income families and individuals were already struggling to make ends meet in Ventura County before this disaster struck, and we are committed to supporting those who need our resources the most.
Donations to the Ventura County Community Thomas Fire Continued Support Fund will be used across our county and will be directed to the areas of greatest need.
Sudden and Urgent Needs Fund
Ventura County nonprofits who have been immediately affected by the fires and are assisting those in urgent need can apply for relief funding through the Sudden and Urgent Needs Fund (SUNF). Grants of up to $5,000 are available for nonprofits only. Please email Breanne Foster at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (805) 988-0196 for more information.
The goal of the Sudden and Urgent Needs Fund (SUNF) is to help an organization meet its mission while managing an unbudgeted, unforeseen, and time-sensitive emergency. The SUNF meets the need for a rapid funding response where the alternative traditional timeline would result in the loss of a critical safety net service or opportunity where other funding sources are not available.
What we fund:
The SUN Fund provides one-time grants up to $5,000 to:
- Respond to an urgent need that could not have been anticipated and for which there are no other sources of funding.
- Provide critical equipment or resource needs that could not have been anticipated or budgeted. For the SUNF grant, we will consider any eligible organization that meets the overall grantmaking criteria of the foundation.
Some possible examples are proposals that will allow an organization to:
- Conduct emergency repairs of building structure or mechanical systems (heating/cooling, water service, etc.) whose sudden and unexpected failure interferes with the provision of services.
- Replace essential equipment and technology whose need could not have been anticipated or budgeted, and whose sudden and unexpected failure interferes with the provision of services. An example would be a crisis hotline phone system that fails without warning.
- Provide resources whose need could not have been anticipated or budgeted, and without which the work of the organization would be severely hampered. An example of this type of grant is training on post-traumatic stress disorder for school guidance counselors supporting children severely impacted by a disaster or traumatic event.
What is the 805 UndocuFund?
The Thomas Fire that struck Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties in December 2017 was the largest fire in California’s history. The wildfire, hazardous air quality conditions, school closures and subsequent mudslides — which severed freeway access for commuters — has led to economic impacts such as destroyed and damaged apartments and homes, lost jobs, increased childcare expenses and other costs for many across the region. Affected immigrants include our friends, neighbors, coworkers and fellow students. Many care for our children and elderly parents; clean our homes and hotel rooms; cook and serve our restaurant meals; maintain our lawns and landscaping; and tend to and harvest the fruits and vegetables that are the backbone of our regional economy.
The 805 UndocuFund is a collective effort to ensure that undocumented individuals and families impacted by natural disasters have the support they need in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties where many have put down deep roots.
How will the Fund help undocumented immigrants?
The Fund assists individuals and families who have lost their homes, wages, and/or employment due to natural disasters with expenses including but not limited to temporary housing, home repairs, rent, groceries, childcare expenses due to disaster related school closure, essential household items, clean-up items, medical and dental expenses, tools and equipment required for work, school supplies, repair of essential vehicles, moving and storage expenses, legal document replacement, and funeral and burial expenses. The 805 UndocuFund will also help affected families access other community resources to provide some economic relief.
What is your fundraising goal?
Our goal is to raise at least $1 million to give a meaningful level of assistance to help individuals and families recover from natural disasters.
Who is involved?
The 805 UndocuFund is a partnership among Ventura and Santa Barbara County-based grassroots organizations that have a solid reputation, strong track record, and are known to and trusted by many undocumented residents: Mixteco/Indigenous Community Organizing Project (MICOP), CAUSE, and Future Leaders of America (FLA). The McCune Foundation is providing leadership support.
How are the funds managed?
The Ventura County Community Foundation provides fund administrative support. VCCF is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity; VCCF’s tax identification number is 77-0165029.
To donate you can go to 805-undocufund-donation. Donations at or over $1,000 are preferable by check payable to Ventura County Community Foundation and mailed to 4001 Mission Oaks Blvd, Suite A, Camarillo, CA 93012. Write “805 UndocuFund” in the memo line.
Why do you need a fund specifically for undocumented immigrants?
Unlike other natural disaster victims, undocumented immigrants do not qualify for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), disaster unemployment benefits or some public safety net programs. Even when they or their children are eligible for disaster relief services, their lack of immigration status, limited English proficiency, and fear of immigration enforcement prevents them from seeking assistance. Their discomfort or lack of familiarity with law enforcement, county government, and mainstream aid organizations present additional barriers.
How many undocumented immigrants are affected?
An estimated 126,000 undocumented immigrants live and work in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, the area that has been hardest hit by recent wildfires and its aftermath. Undocumented immigrants predominantly work in sectors that have been or will be hard hit, including service, hospitality, child and elder care, day labor, and agriculture. Many lose wages in the weeks following natural disasters and others work for companies whose operations are affected at varying levels, from temporary disruption to complete loss.
Who is eligible for support from the 805 UndocuFund?
Undocumented immigrants, including mixed-status families, who are residents of Ventura or Santa Barbara Counties who have experienced loss of housing, vehicle, essential possessions, wages, jobs, increased childcare expenses or other economic hardship due to the natural disasters, are eligible for assistance.
What is the application process?
The streamlined application process utilizes a simple intake form, which is completed by volunteers and community partner organizations. Volunteers and staff have been specifically trained on the 805 UndocuFund intake and referral process. Once an application has been submitted, it undergoes a review process that includes verification and other due diligence.
Who oversees the 805 UndocuFund?
A steering committee of nonprofit organizations including CAUSE, FLA, MICOP, and the McCune Foundation has established the eligibility criteria and developed a streamlined application process as well as guidelines for determining disaster relief.
How does the 805 UndocuFund guard against fraud?
A set of procedures are in place to ensure that funds go to families and individuals who meet the eligibility criteria. Provision of false information will result in immediate disqualification for assistance.
Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes, your donation is made to a 501(c)(3) organization and is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Are you accepting donations of water, clothing, furniture etc.?
No, thank you.
How can I support the 805 UndocuFund?
1. Make an online donation via credit card
2. Send us a check
Make checks payable to Ventura County Community Foundation and mail to our mailing address at 4001 Mission Oaks Blvd, Suite A, Camarillo, CA 93012. Please write the name of the fund you wish to contribute to in the memo line.
3. Transfer securities or cash by wire
We accept gifts of publicly traded securities and cash by wire. For your convenience, we’ve prepared a one-page instruction letter that you can send to your bank or investment advisory firm, which will give your financial advisor all the information he or she needs to execute a wire transfer of securities or cash.
Please be sure to include the name of the fund that you wish to contribute to. Ventura County Community Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity, Federal Tax ID number: 77-0165029.