2018 is quickly coming to a close and we are so grateful for all the community support we have seen. During the Camp Fire emergency and the ongoing relief efforts you showed us that Butte County is a community that cares. You took in your friends and neighbors who were displaced, you donated food and clothing and came together as a community to lift each others spirits. We are seeing light at the end of the tunnel, but there is still much work to do. Consider making your tax-deductible donation before the end of the year, or find a volunteer opportunity that's right for you. You might be surprised to find that there are several mental and physical benefits you can get from the act of giving.
The Ongoing Food and Housing Crisis
Food for Families
In the wake of the Camp Fire our community sprang into action along with state and national disaster relief organizations. Evacuation centers got lot's of support and plenty of food. As our own Community Services Manager, Thomas Dearmore, said in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, “The big machines that happen during disasters — the Red Cross, Salvation Army — their evacuation centers have what they need. It’s the families that we’re trying to serve that are kind of forgotten.” Families already struggling with food insecurity have opened up their homes just like everyone else and are trying to bear the burden of extra food costs. That's where the Community Action Agency of Butte County and the 52 food pantries that we supply come in. The demand on those food pantries is higher than ever and if you're looking for a worthy cause to support this year, that would be a great place to start. Get your tax-deductible donation in before the end of the year so you can claim it on your 2018 taxes!
If you are not in a financial position to make a monetary contribution, consider donating time instead. Our food banks and distribution events can always use an extra hand. Interested volunteers can call 530-712-2600 and select option 3 for food programs.
California has been in an affordable housing crisis for years. It's become a national issue with rising housing costs outpacing wage increases for too long. According to Forbes, only 42% of rental listings are within the financial reach of median-income households. The Camp Fire just made the housing crisis in Butte County considerably worse. Rental inventory is down to almost nothing, even the amount of houses for sale has dropped by over 50%. For families whose financial situations are in flux due to the loss of their homes and negotiations with insurance companies there are few available options. So many people have had to leave Butte County altogether.
Butte CAA has been committed to affordable housing for decades.
- Extended shelter in hotel/motel rooms to help stabilize families
- Extended shelter at RV parks to assist with hook-up and other fees
- Relocation assistance within Butte County including deposits and fees
- Relocation assistance outside of Butte County including transportation expenses
- Utility Assistance (Wood, Propane, and Electricity), including bills incurred before the fire, and households whose bills have increased due to hosting Camp Fire evacuees
- Weatherization services to improve the efficiency of homes and apartments that Camp Fire evacuees have moved into, as well as for households who are hosting Camp Fire evacuees
When you donate to the CAA General Fund you help families find homes in Butte County.
Our Esplanade House is a shining example of what can be done when families are provided a safe place to call home.If you want to help in another way, consider volunteering. Our Esplanade House can always use volunteers to help with events and special projects. It's a great way to directly connect with the families you will be helping. Interested volunteers can call 530-712-2600 and select option 4 for Esplanade House.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance - a Unique Volunteer Opportunity!
Are you good at math? Do you have experience with taxes? Put your talents to work for your community! CAA has operated the VITA Program since 2008 and partners with Chico State University’s College of Business to prepare and submit income tax returns for qualifying low-income residents. There will be a required VITA training on Saturday, January 19, 9am-4pm at the CARD Center, Room 3 in Chico that you will need to attend. For more information, or to sign up, please call (530)712-2883. Everyone benefits from the VITA Program; families, local businesses, communities. Tax/CPA Professionals welcome. The program will start February 2nd, 2019.