From Napa Valley Register: Community Foundation prepares new round of quake aid

November 02, 2014 • 

The Napa Valley Community Foundation intends to begin giving out some $8 million in earthquake aid in December, dovetailing its application process with the one now in use for federal assistance.

To be eligible for a grant from the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund, business owners and homeowners will need to show that they have first applied for federal aid, if they are eligible to do so, according to foundation president Terence Mulligan.

Applicants will be asked to share completed federal application materials as well as awards, or rejections, from the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the Small Business Administration, he said.

FEMA announced Oct. 27 it would provide earthquake recovery aid to Napa County under the Individuals and Households Program. The disaster declaration also makes low-interest federal disaster loans available to residents and business owners from the Small Business Administration.

Napa County residents and business owners seeking either FEMA or SBA assistance can contact FEMA at DisasterAssistance.gov (m.fema.gov on smartphones) or by calling 800-621-3362. For in-person assistance with the application process, residents can visit the Local Assistance Center at First Street and Silverado Trail in Napa. The center’s daily hours of operation are available at NapaQuakeInfo.com.

“We want to make this process as simple and as beneficial as possible for residents and business owners, so are asking people to knock on the larger door of government funding first,” Mulligan said in a news release.

“Our philosophy is that we want to leverage all the resources out there, and piggyback wherever possible on the government application process, so our community members don’t have to manage two separate applications in parallel. This will also help us avoid duplication of benefits and aid dollars,” he said.

The foundation said it will be on the lookout for gaps in the federal program, including clients who don’t qualify for support from federal aid programs; receive support but have important safety repairs that exceed the amounts received from government; or are approved for loans that would create financial hardship to accept, Mulligan said.

The Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund was launched Aug. 27 — three days after the magnitude-6.0 earthquake — with a $10 million gift from the Napa Valley Vintners. More than 375 additional individual and corporate donors have given nearly $400,000.

Additional gifts totaling nearly $200,000 are expected to be received soon from the proceeds of the Napa Rocks! benefit concert and other charitable efforts the same weekend, the foundation said.

In the past five weeks, the fund granted $2 million to 20 nonprofit partners to meet the immediate needs of local residents. Contributions included:

  • $1.145 million in emergency financial aid directly to individuals and families, through a group of NVCF’s nonprofit partners. Funds were provided for temporary housing, food, medicine and to replace essential household items.
  • $815,000 to support direct services provided by those 20 nonprofits to individuals and families.

As of Oct. 15, 500 households received emergency financial assistance with an average award of $1,000 per household, the foundation reported. Overall, 10,000 people received services as a result of grants from the fund, according to the foundation.

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