By Amy Katz
Buckets of clean-up supplies, advice on discount hotels, and tips on how to qualify for grants and low interest loans for food, clothing, and rebuilding were some of the resources a steady stream of storm survivors received on Saturday, January 21, 2023, at the temporary Storm Assistance Center held at the Montecito YMCA.
Dozens of families, many with young children, from all over Santa Barbara County — some who were also impacted during the 2018 mudslides— appreciated the warm-hearted assistance provided by FEMA, The Red Cross, Santa Barbara Social Services, SB Public Works. FEMA workers came from as far away as Florida to assist.
According to at least one worker from each Non-profit agency, there are immediate and dire needs for counseling services and temporary housing that they attempting to fulfill, but they do not yet have the authority or resources allocated to do so at this time. Promises were made to contact evacuees and home owners/renters with damaged homes as soon as there is clarity about direct financial help.
More Assistance centers will open in the near future around Santa Barbara County.