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Programs and Services

 Workshops and Events  Financial Assistance  Summary of the Process

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It is okay to not be okay. Ventura County wildfire survivors, don’t be surprised if you are feeling elevated levels of stress and anxiety as the winds pick up and fire threats are elevated. Know that it is common to feel a range of emotions, especially if you have experienced similar disasters. You are likely not alone in how you are feeling. Pace yourself, and practice care as you go. Learn the signs of disaster-related distress.

The Disaster Distress Line provides 24/7 immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any disaster.

  • Call 800-985-5990 (English and Spanish)
  • Text TalkWithUs (Hablanos for Spanish) to 66746 to connect with a counselor

There are also local resources we encourage you to consider. Mental health and wellness supports in Ventura County funded to assist fire survivors (click for list).

We encourage you to pursue a balance between staying informed, for safety purposes, and limiting media exposure, for mental and emotional health.
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Programs and Services:

  • “Give an Hour”, a non-profit mental health support is offering Community Building & Peer Support, Trauma 101 and Trauma Informed Care Training, Vicarious Trauma Training and Support for Caregivers in wildfire affected. If you, or anyone you know is interested in these no cost services, please contact Kirsti Thompson at (805)795-8661, or kthompson@giveanhour.org
  • Thousand Oaks Remembers storytelling project. For  more information  on events and ways to participate visit: ThousandOaksRemembers.com  or email Shannon Savage-Howie at  shannon@savagehowie.com. An event is planned for Friday, Nov 8th, 7pm at TO Civic Arts Plaza, Scherr Forum
  • SPARK Academy - Youth resiliency through art and play program for K-5th grade. Five, 2-hour sessions. Taking place in Oak View this fall, starting Oct 18th, 2019. Then planned in Piru and Santa Paula later this year/early 2020. Info at: www.hopeww.org/spark  Link to Application for youth to participate or contact Dana Taylor  at  833-446-7399 ext. 734 or dana.taylor@hopeww.org
  • United Policyholders would like to hear from you. Click here for more information about their survey.

Click here for additional organizations that may be able to help.

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Workshops and Events

 

Roadmap to Recovery Webinar

Thursday, June 18th at 4:00 pm

Building it back: Permits and Code Compliance

 

The Ventura County Fire Reminds the Public to Clear Brush Ahead of Fire Season

 

CAMARILLO, Calif. – Thousands of letters have been sent to homeowners and property managers reminding Ventura County to clear 100 feet of brush away from properties by June 1, 2020.More than 18,500 parcels will receiveFire Hazard Reduction Program (FHRP) noticesadvising people to remove dry brush near open land where wildfires may occur.This year, to maintain the health and safety of personnel and residents due to COVID-19, notices will include updated information about our efforts to maintain all social distancing requirements in support of theVentura County Health Officer’s “Stay Well at Home Order”and in compliance with theCenter for Disease Control (CDC)safety guidelines.

 

Ventura County Firerequires homeowners and property managers to clear brush away from nearby buildings and maintain 100 feet of defensible space. Dead trees, poorly maintained properties and dry brush greatly increases the risk of fast-spreading, dangerous wildfires.FHRPis designed to minimize fire danger by controlling the density and placement of flammable vegetation. It not only helps protect Ventura County, but also provides a buffer zone for firefighters to operate should a wildfire threaten a home or property. To find out if a parcel has been approved, visitwww.VCFHRP.org.

 

For more information about how to better prepare your home and property before a wildfire occurs, download aReady, Set, Go! Brochure, inEnglishorSpanish.

 

For additional information on theFire Hazard Reduction Program, call (805) 389-9759 or send an email tofhrp@ventura.org.

 

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Financial Assistance Guidance:

Various forms of assistance are available to residents impacted by the Hill and Woolsey Fires.  This message provides an overview of the major resources available for residents and provides information about the process of applying for assistance. 

  • 211

211 provides free and confidential social service assistance to people in the United States and Canada.  Locally, 211 partners with Interface Children and Family Services to provide social service assistance and is the local resource coordinator for Hill and Woolsey fire victims.  211 may require fire survivors to apply to FEMA to be eligible for their assistance.  211 will provide a Disaster Case Manager (DCM) through Interface.  DCM’s can assist residents with locating and applying for non-FEMA and non-SBA related financial and social assistance.

  • Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA)

Some FEMA resources may not be available due to the partial government shut down.  FEMA provides housing assistance to individuals and families, renters and homeowners, who have lost their primary residence as a result of a presidentially declared disaster. 

FEMA offers assistance with unmet disaster caused needs after a maximum insurance settlement.  Having insurance does not disqualify an individual from receiving assistance.  However, by law, FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance. The agency does not cover insurance deductibles.  Residents without insurance and those with uninsured lodging expenses may also qualify for rental assistance. 

FEMA grants do not need to be repaid.  According to the FEMA website, Federal assistance is nontaxable and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid, or other federal benefits.  FEMA may also be able to provide assistance in addition to temporary housing as long as the applicant has applied to and denied from the SBA Loan program.  Please see the FEMA Assistance Flow Chart here

If you have received a FEMA denial or rejection notice, please note that this is not necessarily the end of the line for FEMA assistance

  • In many cases, FEMA within the notice is asking for additional information such as insurance settlement documents or a phone call to schedule an appointment for a home inspection to verify you are qualified for assistance.For assistance, please call FEMA’s assistance hotline: (800) 621-3362.
  • In addition, you may be ineligible for assistance at this time because your insurance covers temporary housing, but if your insurance runs within 12 months from the date you registered with FEMA, you may be eligible for assistance.You will need to file an appeal with FEMA, for more information on this go to the FEMA assistance website at https://www.fema.gov/individual-disaster-assistance
  • Please see the FEMA Eligibility Fact Sheet for additional information.
  • For more detailed information, please visit & read through the FEMA assistance website: https://www.fema.gov/individual-disaster-assistance
  • Small Business Administration (SBA)

SBA offers financial assistance to homeowners and renters in declared disaster areas.  The agency provides low-interest, long-term loans not fully covered by insurance or other means. Maximum assistance is $200,000 to repair or replace a primary home to pre-disaster condition. SBA also offers up to $40,000 to replace damaged or destroyed personal property such as clothing, furniture, appliances, and cars. For additional help, please reference the SBA Process Guide (in English & Spanish), the SBA Disaster Assistance Flyer & the SBA Fact Sheet (in English & Spanish).

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Summary of the Processes:

  1. Apply concurrently for FEMA and SBA assistance.
  2. FEMA- Apply for FEMA assistance please visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov or click here.  To apply be phone for FEMA assistance, please call 1-800-621-3362. TTY, please call 1-800-462-7585.

Please note: after submitting a complete assistance application, FEMA will schedule an appointment with a home inspector, this is a critical step in getting approved.  If you have trouble getting the home inspection, please call FEMA’s assistance hotline to schedule one at (800) 621 3362.  After the inspection, if you qualify for assistance, FEMA will provide funds and a letter describing how you are to use the funds. If an individual does not qualify for a grant, FEMA will provide a letter explaining why the individual does not qualify and should provide an opportunity to appeal the decision.

If a FEMA claim for temporary housing was denied and insurance paid temporary housing funds are exhausted, a claimant may be able to appeal the FEMA denial in the future when an applicant’s insurance gets close to running out.  Please contact FEMA for appeal process information (800) 621 3362 or visit their assistance webpage at https://www.fema.gov/individual-disaster-assistance and click the “How Do I Appeal The Final Decision” button for more information.

SBA- Apply for SBA assistance please visit www.DisasterLoan.sba.gov or click here.   To apply by phone for SBA assistance please call 1-800-659-2955. TTY, please call 1-800-877-8339. 

SBA also provides an easy to follow reference guide.

211 Ventura- Apply for local assistance through 211.  Please visit www.211Ventura.org or click here .  Scroll down to and select the link for the DCM Intake form.  The DCM Intake is the form to complete to be considered for local assistance.