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Sunday, January 20 , 2019, 4:44 pm | A Few Clouds 67º


United Way Relief Applications Open for Fire, Mudslide Victims

United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) has announced individuals and families affected by the Thomas Fire and/or Jan. 9 floods can apply for direct financial assistance through the United Way Thomas Fire & Flood Fund starting Monday, April 16.

The application window will be open through Friday, May 11.

The United Way Thomas Fire & Flood Fund was jointly established by the United Ways of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties to help the region recover.

The fund has raised more than $4.2 million in community donations, all of which will go directly to affected individuals and families, and the organizations serving them.

To date, more than $3 million has been allocated from the fund and additional distributions are forthcoming.

In Santa Barbara County, the fund’s goal is to assist with the long-term recovery of the families of the 23 individuals who lost their lives; the hundreds of individuals and families whose homes were damaged or destroyed; and the many others who were unable to work and are now struggling to make ends meet.

For the second phase of United Way Thomas Fire & Flood Fund distributions, applications from affected individuals and families will be solicited and approved for direct grants.

This funding cycle will be carried out in partnership with Family Service Agency, UWSBC’s designated case management agency for the Fund.

Through providing evidence-informed case management, needs verification, and ongoing support, Family Service Agency will play a key role in ensuring the near- and long-term needs of those affected are met in an efficient and timely manner.

For the Fund’s Phase Two individual assistance distribution, the following classes of individuals are eligible to apply for funding:

» Next of Kin for individuals who lost their lives as a result of the Jan. 9 debris flow. Eligible claimants include the estates of individuals who lost their lives as a result of the Jan. 9 mudslide.

» Santa Barbara County residents who have suffered damage or total loss of their primary residence (including renters) and/or personal property (includes vehicles) due to the Thomas Fire or Jan. 9 debris flow.

» Santa Barbara County residents who were unable to work during or after the Thomas Fire or Jan. 9 debris flow. Applicants must be able to demonstrate they were residents of Santa Barbara County and/or employed in Santa Barbara County at the time of the disasters.

To be eligible for funding, individuals must submit an application for individual assistance. For expedited review, applications may be submitted online at www.unitedwaysb.org/thomas-recovery.

Individuals without internet/computer access or who require additional assistance may complete applications in person at:

» United Way of Santa Barbara County, 320 E. Gutierrez St., Santa Barbara. Ooen 1-5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Contact: Melinda Cabrera.

» Montecito Center, 1283 Coast Village Circle, Montecito. Open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday, 6-8 p.m. Wednesdays, and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays.

» Family Service Agency, 123 W. Gutierrez St., Santa Barbara. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Contact: Alison Espinola

Applications must be received by 5 p.m. Friday, May 11, to be eligible for funding from this distribution. Late applications will be accepted past May 11, but will only be reviewed at a later date, should additional funding become available.

To find application materials, visit www.unitedwaysb.org/thomas-recovery.

— Angel Pacheco for United Way of Santa Barbara County.


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