United Way Distributes Funds

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 9, 2018
Habitat for Humanity of Southern Santa Barbara County, a recipient organization of the United Way Thomas Fire and Flood Fund, clear the mud from the Farrell family’s Montecito home

Last week, United Way of Santa Barbara County announced the distribution of the last of the funds donated to the organization following the Thomas Fire and debris flow. The second and last phase of funds are assisting households representing more than 1,200 Santa Barbara County individuals and families and 20 community organizations. The total amount distributed is nearly $2 million. 

 Earlier this year, United Way’s Long Term Recovery Committee awarded funds to 20 agencies during their Phase 1 distribution, providing immediate and long-term assistance to more than 10,000 individuals impacted by the disasters, such as Habitat for Humanity, Easy Lift Transportation, Women’s Economic Ventures, Family Service Agency, Hospice of Santa Barbara, and the Foodbank. 

In April, the nonprofit further opened applications for individuals and families affected by the Thomas Fire and/or debris flow for direct financial assistance. United Way of Santa Barbara County partnered with Family Service Agency to conduct individual case management services for nearly 500 families in need. Disbursements made to Santa Barbara County individuals and families ranged in size from $500 to $10,000 and were based on recommendations made through FSA’s case management process to determine and verify needs. 

Santa Barbara County residents who were eligible for assistance included next of kin for individuals who lost their lives as a result of the debris flow; those who suffered damage or total loss of their primary residence (including renters) and/or personal property (including vehicles); and people who were unable to work during or after the Thomas Fire or debris flow.

“Our community truly rallied following the devastation to support those who lost family members, homes, and their livelihoods,” said Steve Ortiz, United Way of Santa Barbara County president & CEO. “We are humbled to have the trust of our community. It has been a challenging six months for everyone; our hope is that these funds will make a difference and help families and our community continue the rebuilding process.”

To find more information, visit www.unitedwaysb.org/thomas-recovery.


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