Road to Recovery: Helping Families Heal After the Fires

Early Fire Relief
In the two months after wildfires broke out in Napa Valley, Cope Family Center supported those affected by providing financial, mental and emotional support at the evacuation center, Local Assistance Center (LAC) and our Family Resource Center in downtown Napa. On October 9th, Cope immediately re-allocated staff and volunteer resources to meet the needs of the community and continued to provide emergency relief through December 1st.

IMG_0930 (1).JPG

Fire Relief Numbers

October 9-December 1, 2017
*600 children served at the evacuation center children's play area
*$30,000 in gift cards distributed
*Over 4,600 referrals to nonprofits and agencies for further aid
*$642,000 in Napa Valley Community Foundation Emergency Financial Assistance Grants distributed to 501 recipients
*Over 1,000 households served at the evacuation center, LAC and Cope combined

Click here to learn more about Cope’s role in fire relief.

The Need Continues
Now that the community is transitioning into long-term recovery, Cope will continue to serve families working to heal from the fires. The financial, mental and emotional impact of the disaster on already vulnerable families will be long-lasting and the road to recovery will be long. Many people missed weeks of work or even permanently lost their jobs because of the fires. For families already living paycheck to paycheck, the effect of lost is devastating. Now facing an even greater struggle to make ends meet, these families are at increased risk for food insecurity and homelessness.

In additional to the financial impact, families are challenged with the mental and emotional effects of the disaster. Evacuations disrupted routines and undermined a sense of security. Lost homes, belongings and pets brought sadness and vulnerability. Navigating insurance and aid claims caused confusion and anxiety. The fear, anxiety, worry and grief will last long after the last flames were extinguished.

Managing the financial, mental and emotional stress can be overwhelming for parents. Despite their best intentions, their struggles can impact their children. Without support, the stress can become too much to manage and children can be at risk for neglect and even abuse.

Cope’s Continued Support
Year round, Cope provides the support parents need to manage a variety of stressful situations and challenging life events so they can raise children who thrive. In the aftermath of the fires, this support will be in even greater demand.

Cope is here to help alleviate the financial, mental and emotional stress by providing crisis intervention services, distributing emergency aid and connecting families with other community resources for further support. In addition, our parent education services help empower parents with the knowledge and skills to help them be present, engaged and nurturing  parents even while managing the stress and trauma of the fires.

Here are some of the ways Cope is serving families as they continue to heal and recover from the fires. All services are free and most are offered in English and Spanish.

  • Due to lost income and additional fire-related expenses, many are struggling to make ends meet. Families can come to Cope for emergency assistance such as: gift cards for gas, groceries, clothing and medication; diapers and baby wipes; and formula and baby food.
  • Our skilled and dedicated staff provides confidential and compassionate support to families in crisis. We help meet immediate needs as well as connect families with outside resources for further support such as mental health services, legal aid and government assistance programs.
  • As long-term fire recovery programs develop and evolve, we continue to distribute information to families as well as help connect them with community disaster relief opportunities.
  • Due to the high cost of rent in Napa County, many families displaced by the fires have no other option but to move in with family, often resulting in overcrowded conditions. Parents are welcome to come to our Family Resource Center to play with their children in our spacious children’s play room stocked with toys, books and art supplies. We also have peaceful and quiet rooms available for parents to feed and rest with their infants.
  • To help families be better prepared for the next emergency, we are planning disaster preparedness trainings including providing emergency kits to low-income families.
  • Our Parent Education program provides parents and caregivers with the support and skills to build strong family relationships. Our goal is to promote healthy families by reducing stress, improving parenting skills, strengthening parent confidence, developing coping skills and building resiliency.

While the fires have inflicted significant damage and the impact will be felt for a long time to come, families can emerge from the crisis resilient, strong and healthy. With your help, we can continue providing the support parents need to protect their children from parental stress and trauma as they rebuild their lives.

How You Can Help
The generous outpouring of donations from near and far in the weeks after the fires broke out enabled us to help meet the immediate needs of the community.  As we settle in to the long-term work of helping families heal and recover, we need continued support to help ensure all parents have the resources they need to manage the financial, emotional and mental stress so their children can thrive. Please consider making a donation of any amount to support Napa Valley families.

Click here to learn more about Cope and to make a donation. 

 Click  here  to meet Amadu and his family to see the impact of your support.

Click here to meet Amadu and his family to see the impact of your support.