As the weather turns cold and the winter rains begin, we think of those less fortunate than ourselves. More than 5,100 local homes were lost to the October fires, 10,000+ Sonoma County residents are looking for a permanent place to stay, and we struggle to understand the loss of more than 40 of our neighbors.

While many WCCS staff were evacuated due to the fires and one lost his home, we know we are luckier than most. We have joined the broader community in pledging our services to any county resident affected by the fires. Any resident relocating to West County can contact WCCS for our support in senior services, counseling, case management, food aid, referrals to other agencies, etc. This has been a traumatic event, but we stand together.

Even as WCCS has extended its services as a result of the fires, our staff and volunteers continue to provide immediate support to our community’s already most vulnerable members, through behavioral health, housing, employment, youth support and senior services. From helping the homeless find shelter before the rains to providing recovery assistance to those struggling with behavioral health issues, to preparing local at-risk youth for employment, “empowerment” has long been our agency’s byword. At WCCS, we firmly believe that supporting people to make their own decisions results in stronger personal growth and better, long-term results. The stories included in this newsletter reflect this driving focus on empowerment and the positive impact that can result. On behalf of our clients, partners, board, and staff, thank you for your time and financial support in making this possible.

 

Tim Miller, Executive Director