October 27, 2020 – For the Register
Napa Valley Community Foundation has started an emergency financial assistance program for local residents in need because of the LNU Complex fires or the Glass Fire.
Two types of financial assistance are available. First, grants for homeowners and renters whose primary residence was damaged or destroyed by the 2020 wildfires; second, grants for workers facing economic hardship as a result of the firestorms, which burned for 10 weeks during peak harvest and visitation season for Napa Valley.
The program is a collaboration between the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund, which is managed by the Community Foundation, and two local nonprofit organizations, On the Move and UpValley Family Centers.
Collectively, the organizations have distributed more than $5 million to several thousand households struggling to recover from recent disasters like the 2017 wildfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.
To qualify for assistance, renters and homeowners must have received a red or yellow tag on their primary residence in Napa County, and have annual household income at or below $151,000 for a family of four (or 150% of Area Median Income for Napa County).
Workers who are struggling to make ends meet because of the wildfires can qualify for assistance, as well. To be considered for a grant, workers will be asked to demonstrate that they live in Napa County and are facing economic hardship because of the fires; are not eligible for government-sponsored unemployment benefits through EDD or Disaster Unemployment Assistance; and have annual household income at or below $121,000 for a family of four (or 120% of Area Median Income for Napa County).
“The fires created a series of big problems in an already difficult year,” said NVCF President Terence Mulligan. “Luckily, we live in a place where people are both generous and resilient.”
Mulligan noted that 750 donors had thus far made a financial contribution to wildfire relief efforts in Napa County. Emergency financial assistance can be used to meet basic living expenses such as food and housing. It can also be used to replace essential household contents lost in the fires (including automobiles and work tools/equipment), make repairs or rebuild. Workers are eligible for grants of up to $1,500; renters of up to $3,500; and homeowners of up to $7,500.
Emergency financial assistance will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis to qualified applicants. Those who wish to apply must call or email UpValley Family Centers at 707-965-5010 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a phone appointment with a case manager. To download an application or learn more, please visit upvalleyfamilycenters.org.
Staff at UpValley Family Centers is available to assist in completing applications in English or Spanish. To make a tax-deductible contribution to the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund, please visit napavalleycf.org.