Ventura County Community Foundation seeking donations for local victims of December storms

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PORT HUENEME, Calif.— Residents at Hueneme Bay still have not recovered from the storms that hit them on December 21st of last year.

As a low income senior community, Hueneme Bay is disproportionately impacted from the storms.

With limited mobility and a finite amount of financial resources, community members are struggling immensely.

Most these storm survivors don’t have flood insurance, and government assistance is not available at this time.

“A lot of our friends won’t be back, that they will end up in residential care facilities or something else. Many of them didn’t have relatives to go live with. Many don’t have spouses. Many are alone, very alone,” said Elizabeth Sparks, who lives Hueneme Bay.

“They need food. They need clothing. They need temporary shelter…To get their homes back into basic living conditions it takes a lot of money for asbestos abatement for mold remediation,” said Ventura County Community Foundation Chief Philanthropy Officer Mike Silacci.

The Ventura County Community Foundation has stepped up by rallying the community together to help this underserved population.

“If my whole neighborhood was damaged, I would think that was a catastrophe and it is a catastrophe. And I would also expect there to be government assistance and support. But unfortunately, 400 homes being damaged with 50, frankly, being destroyed completely doesn’t rise to the threshold of FEMA assistance being available,” said Ventura County Community Foundation CEO Vanessa Bechtel.

If FEMA was available, that would be an extra $41,000 per household.

But to meet the FEMA threshold 1,200 units would have to be damaged— triple the amount of the damage reported in this area.

Ventura County Community Foundation is calling on the community to donate.

100% of the proceeds go directly back into these communities being impacted.

That’s money that could go towards rebuilding these homes or even paying for a safe place to stay.

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