Donate to the fund of Irwin Keller, rabbi of Ner Shalom in Cotati, who will distribute locally where needed. Designate “RDF – Fire Relief.”
Donate to Undocufund, which ensures that undocumented families displaced by the fires will have the support and resources they need to rebuild and recover. From their website: “An estimated 28,000 undocumented immigrants live and work in Sonoma County. Unlike other victims of the fires that have devastated Sonoma County, undocumented immigrants do not qualify for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Lack of immigration status, limited English proficiency, and fear of immigration enforcement will also impede their access to disaster-relief services, even when they are eligible.”
Those of us who have vacation homes in Sonoma or Napa County or near the impacted areas can choose to give up our weekends there for 1-2 years to house people (charging rent or not) who have been displaced. Temporary housing or rooms in someone’s homes are not needed at this time, only long term rentals. If you have a home you might be willing to rent to a nice family please email email@example.com.
From Rabbi Stephanie Kramer of Congregation Shomrei Torah in Santa Rosa: “Before the fires, there was already a housing crisis in Sonoma County. Now, with thousands of homes destroyed by the fires, the situation is dire and the need immediate. Families remain stranded at hotels, moving from house to house, and in shelters, with all of their worldly possessions stuffed into their cars, and with no idea whether they will have a roof over their heads tomorrow, next week, next month, and beyond. We can’t turn back time and stop the fires from happening. We can’t undo the trauma, and we can’t rebuild people’s lives. But we can put roofs over their heads. We can give them the security of a home base while they figure out how to put their lives back together. We can make sure that they can stay in their community, the community that they love and that they need to get through this. Because the truth is that while so many are now homeless, there are empty homes that could house them, and we have the power to open them up.”
If anyone is connected to volunteer needs in the areas affected by the fires, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.