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The Thomas Fire has become the largest fire to affect California with over 1,000 structures damaged and many people evacuated from their homes and businesses as a result of fire damage, smoke and ash. Now the rains and mudslides in Montecito have affected people with great loss to the community. Thousands of people have left town, are being housed by family members and friends. During their evacuation, most only need basic necessities. In addition, unknown damage has been done to many low-income families because they could not work during business closures, with the total impact still to be determined. Those that lost their homes and rentals will not know the full status of how the fire and mudslide has affected their lives for weeks to come, long after the first responders have left the area. It will be then that most will need the long-term services provided by the Unity Shoppe.
During December, the Unity Shoppe was open daily and helped all those that were referred at 1401 Chapala Street. We accepted donations of food, toys and funds to purchase the items required for long-term year-round distributions of Food, Clothing and Disaster Services. Cash donations make it possible to purchase wholesale items in bulk so more people can be helped with better and more consistent support services.
Those needing services now will be referred throughout 2018 once they have determined the damage done to their homes, their financial resources and what is covered through their insurance. It is our experience that most people evaluate their needs a month or more after an incident has been contained and only after they learn what has been destroyed or damaged and if they will need to rent other housing. At that time, they will be needing items such as blankets, sleeping bags, towels, bedding, pajamas, socks, sneakers, coats, sweaters, cookware, dishes, utensils and temporary furniture until their insurance funds can be collected and they find rentals to house their families.
Funds are needed for items that will need to be purchased for Unity’s Disaster Service Program
Soap – toothbrushes – toothpaste – deodorant – lotion – after shave – razors – personal products -protection masks – underwear – socks -address books – clocks – radios – tee shirts – sweat shirts and pants – tennis shoes and some furniture for rental stays. All those referred can shop at no cost in our “Free grocery and clothing store” and the children’s school supplies room. Bikes and toys in “Santa’s Toy Shoppe” are also available so children can choose the toys they wish to replace.
Unity Disaster Services are designed to help the clients of all non-profit organizations, churches, schools and hospitals over a 12-month period. All those referred are qualified and documented.
Anyone who would like to help support the need for long-term recovery for those affected can donate at least $10 to $20, to help with wholesale purchases of items needed by those referred: fire victims, rain/mudslide victims, low-income families, the elderly, sick and the disabled. Unity Shoppe is open daily Monday through Friday from 10 am to 6 pm and by appointment.
Unity celebrated 100 years of ‘Community Service’ in 2017.
Call (805) 965-4122 x 803 for more for more information
Help if you can in a meaningful way!