The Butte Strong Fund has awarded 17 grants totaling more than $800,000 for Camp Fire recovery efforts.
The grants were approved Friday at a meeting of the Butte Strong Fund grant committee, composed of nine community members.
The largest grant was $203,767 to support the Roadmap to Recovery Program by United Policyholders.
United Policyholders is an independent nonprofit organization, not affiliated with insurance agencies, that advocates for insurance consumers in all 50 states. United Policyholders serves as a free resource to help fire survivors in their quest to get insurance settlements by providing trustworthy guidance.
The grant will help United Policyholders continue its Roadmap to Recovery Program, which includes free public meetings and workshops as well as individual consultations.The group estimates the grant will allow it to host between 12 and 20 additional Roadmap to Recovery workshops, both in person and via webinar; conduct 12-month and 24-month recovery surveys; employ a Camp Fire recovery coordinator for two years; and continue to answer calls and emails from people seeking help and information.
The Butte Strong Fund was established earlier this year as a partnership of three major fundraising efforts by the North Valley Community Foundation, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and the Aaron Rodgers NorCal Fire Recovery Fund.
Other recent capacity-building grant proposals approved for funding from the Butte Strong Fund include:
Expanded emergency financial assistance ($49,951): Allowed Butte 2-1-1 to be able to process and verify up to 200 emergency financial assistance applications for distribution of direct assistance funds to Camp Fire survivors who have a demonstrated and verified need for immediate financial support for gas, food, housing, transportation, and medical/dental care. It also will allow them to train 3-4 new and existing staff to work with emergency financial assistance applications and the centralized computer system used by case managers.
Disaster case management ($50,000): Created a disaster case management position at the Boys and Girls Club to provide direct services to youth and families who have been impacted by the Camp Fire. This includes everything from triaging immediate needs, identifying unmet needs, directly connecting families with referrals and resources, providing direct financial support, and helping families return to their pre-fire housing status.
Disaster case management supervisor ($28,780.85): Allowed the Jesus Center to increase the hours of a current staff member to assume the role of a case management supervisor to work exclusively with Camp Fire survivors. This will allow the Jesus Center to increase its caseload by 50 percent (from 20 to 30) and will decrease the costs to the Jesus Center to operate and supervise this program.
Relocation grant ($50,000): This program to Global Empowerment Mission is to provide 25-30 families with direct assistance of up to $1,500 per household for families interested in relocating and needing financial help to make this happen.
Camp Fire Welcome Home Kits ($30,000): This grant to Throwing Starfish Foundation will provide 100 Camp Fire families with Welcome Home Kits. These kits include household necessities that help families settle into their new home, whether it be a FEMA home or a more permanent situation. The kits include $300 worth of household necessities and can alleviate the costs associated with moving into a new place and having to buy all new items. Throwing Starfish will work with case managers to get these kits to Camp Fire families who are in need.
Gridley Camp Fire Community Health case management ($50,000): This grant was requested through Orchard Hospital to assist in coordinating and managing care and providing supportive services to individuals and families housed in the Gridley FEMA Camp Fire community.
Reopening Pee Wee Preschool ($50,000): This grant provides vital resources to allow Pee Wee Preschool to reopen and remain open through the winter. As one of the only remaining preschools in Paradise, this grant will allow it to provide services that would not be available otherwise.
Paradise Unified School District Healing Initiative, Pine Ridge Elementary ($50,000): This grant was funded to enable the organization to facilitate a needs assessment with elementary school administrators and key staff members; provide weekly self-care lessons to all kindergarten-fifth grade students which will include exercises/lessons in mindfulness, stress reduction, expression of gratitude and yoga; facilitate monthly local and larger community service learning projects for all elementary classrooms; and provide weekly staff and community self-care classes.
Campaign Propane ($25,000): This grant will allow Campaign Propane, fiscally sponsored by Sacramento Grove of the Oak, to continue its work procuring and delivering propane to areas affected by the Camp Fire. Propane has emerged as a vital resource for people living on the ridge, and consequentially can quickly drain their limited resources.
Paradise Parade of Flags ($10,000): This project would allow Chico Chapter 52 Daughters of the American Revolution to replace flags to continue the tradition of raising 1,100 flags in Paradise on patriotic holidays (Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Veterans Day). This tradition has been going on for 20 years.
Healing Trauma Through Nature ($50,000): This project aims to support a comprehensive program to develop and deliver expanded outdoor experiences for those in the Paradise Recreation and Park District service area, designed to help heal the Camp Fire-related traumas experienced by the residents of Paradise, Concow, Yankee Hill, Magalia and Butte Creek Canyon.
Understanding Trauma in the Workplace ($35,000): The request from Alliance for Workforce Development covers providing training to 25-50 employers to cover a HR directors group training, workshops with the Butte College Economic and Workforce Department and The Training Place, and a post-workshop assessment with the overall goal to “provide training and support to assist employers and employees develop healing centered recovery strategies for dealing with post-traumatic stress.”
Wellness Project, Stonewall Alliance ($25,000): This grant was funded to enable Stonewall to provide individual counseling to a minimum of 20 Camp Fire-affected community members, provide groups and outings to a minimum of 50 Camp Fire affected community members, and to provide LGBTQ+ culturally competent training to a minimum of 10 providers who serve the Camp Fire-affected community.
Butte Artists for Butte Strong Families, Social Good Fund ($15,000): The program aims to involve at least 300 children displaced by the Camp Fire, have at least 100 families complete a piece of art in 2020 and produce data by conducting surveys with all participants. There would be a total of 12 pop-up art workshops in seven Butte County communities. A similar program has been operating for the last 6 months.
Tiny House 3D Printing Project ($30,000): This grant provided stipends to enable students to continue working on a Tiny House 3D Printing project through the summer. True North Housing Alliance and the Chico State University Engineering Department are partnering to develop materials and procedures that would allow them to develop energy and cost-efficient tiny homes that meet HUD funding requirements for housing programs and adhere to state and local building code standards.
PARADISE U - Center for Advancement of Standards-based Physical Education Reform, or CASPER ($50,000): This program through Chico State University would fund two types of physical activity classes: a community-wide physical activity program that will provide about 20 physical activity classes per week in Paradise and Chico, serving up to 600 individuals per week, and an in-school program will serve interested K-6 classrooms with seven hours per week (divided between the classrooms) to serve approximately 150 children per week.
To date, the NVCF has awarded more than $17 million in grants related to Camp Fire relief via the Butte Strong Fund, Camp Fire Relief Fund and donor-designated funds. The Butte Strong Fund provides funding for eligible organizations or local government entities that are directly serving people affected by the Camp Fire. Individual assistance is handled through those organizations.
Organizations interested in applying for Butte Strong Fund grants can visit ButteStrongFund.org to determine if they qualify for funding. Those that do can submit a brief grant inquiry before being invited to submit a full application. Staff at NVCF will facilitate the application process.
The Butte Strong Fund is still receiving donations. Tax-deductible donations can be sent to Butte Strong Fund, 240 Main St., Suite 260, Chico, CA 95928 or by visiting www.buttestrongfund.org.