Community Bridges and Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey have teamed up to open a satellite resource center in Pajaro to provide disaster services for families recovering from the floods that inundated the region earlier this year.
The 580-square-foot office at 14 Porter Drive will fulfill the functions of the Long-Term Case Management work needed to help the dozens of Pajaro families who are unable to return home or find habitable housing because of the winter storms.
The center is staffed with members of the Family Resource Collective team every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9am to 4:30pm (closed for lunch between noon and 1pm) to help Pajaro families access assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and state, county and local programs.
About 2,000 residents were displaced after the Pájaro River levee breached and flooded the town of Pajaro and other surrounding communities on March 11. Many have returned home, but hundreds are still navigating the FEMA application process, and roughly 250 displaced Pajaro residents are staying in Watsonville hotels through the County of Monterey’s temporary shelter program as of mid-June.
“District 2 is deeply grateful to all of the community-based organizations who stepped into recovery mode almost simultaneously with the winter weather disasters in Pajaro,” Monterey County District 2 Supervisor Glenn Church said. “By virtue of their tireless effort for this community, they are contributing to a roadmap for recovery that is striving for equity and relevance now and in the future. By continuing to prioritize this work with the opening of the Family Resource Center at 14 Porter Drive, they are helping to build a stronger, more cohesive, and more resilient community.”
Since March 11, Community Bridges and Catholic Charities, with help from nonprofit partners Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County, Inc., Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance, and Monarch Services, has distributed more than $1 million in direct economic assistance to Pajaro residents who have been impacted by the recent devastating floods. Community Bridges has also provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in indirect assistance through community outreach, political advocacy, essential items and supplies, free cleanup tools, and educational sessions regarding tenant and landlord rights, FEMA assistance, and insurance applications.
This assistance has been made possible thanks to thousands of donations to the Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, Community Foundation for Monterey County, and Community Bridges’ Pajaro Flood Relief fund, the latter of which has collected more than $500,000 from more than 1,600 supporters.
Community Bridges is currently distributing funds to Pajaro families impacted by the recent storms at its site in Watsonville, La Manzana Community Resources. Pajaro residents are encouraged to visit the location at 521 Main St., Suite Y, in Watsonville from 9am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday to inquire about eligibility.
Currently, grants between $450-2,750 are available for Pájaro residents whose homes were damaged by the March 11 flood.