Hope Crisis Response Network, Inc. provides disaster response and relief efforts following disaster.

Sometimes it’s hard to explain what that looks like but here’s a snapshot of things that our staff and volunteers have accomplished since a Firestorm swept across Northern California. That fateful night, 15 fires erupted in six counties north of San Francisco. The Tubbs Fire started just 17 miles from Middletown where we have been working for more than two years. We’ve been assisting families and rebuilding homes following the Valley Fire, from September 2015.

HCRN CEO and Founder Kevin Cox headed out after the scanner was filled with fire crews calling for additional staff as the fires began. By midnight, the directions for firefighters changed across the radio. “Evacuate. Evacuate. Evacuate. Do not attempt to save structures, evacuate residents.” Cox reached the Calistoga area, but the roads were already blocked by flames.

Our staff immediately began coordinating resources and bringing leaders to together as the Firestorm developed. HCRN provided cots and supplies for emergency shelters. Our volunteers prepared meals for evacuees, helped our church partners manage emergency shelters as evacuees flooded church sanctuaries, worked at the Local Assistance Center to help those affected by the fires.

Cots lined up in a church emergency shelter
Cots line the sanctuary at The Bridge Church in Santa Rosa, California
Bedding items available for evacuees
Blankets, sheets and bedding line the stage at The Bridge Church, Santa Rosa, California
Children's shoes for families evacuated in the wildfires.
Kids shoes fill a table at a distribution site for evacuees in Santa Rosa, California

HCRN is currently providing assistance following the Firestorm for three counties: Lake, Sonoma and Mendocino. In Sonoma County, we have trained and coordinated a faith based response that includes 60 churches, many whose congregations were hit hard by the devastating fires.

Cox, as an expert in long term recovery, has offered assistance to local leaders as they begin the process of forming long-term recovery committees. What does that look like? Attending a lot of meetings, working on coordinating leaders and bringing teams together, facilitating the discussions regarding donated money and other resources.

Our work rebuilding homes by using volunteer teams in Lake County continues despite the new fires. In fact, a volunteer crew from Santa Rosa First United Methodist Church was in Middletown ready to start their week of volunteering when the Firestorm broke out. One of those volunteers lost her own home that evening. She became one of the homeless.

Santa Rosa volunteers the night before the fires.
Volunteers from Santa Rosa First United Methodist Church on their arrival to serve in Middletown.

The loss is unbelievable. The massiveness of the devastation is still hard to fathom one month later. The fires leveled neighborhoods, leaving only grotesque remains of once beautiful homes. County leaders, doctors, pastors, teachers, police officers and firefighters are among those who lost homes.

An aerial view of one devastated street
Destroyed cars sit in front of ash piles that were once homes in Santa Rosa, California
In the midst of debris, a washer and dryer are still standing.
A washer and dryer stand in the midst of ashes at a Santa Rosa home.

HCRN is committed to providing assistance in these latest fires, even as we continue our work rebuilding homes in Lake County.

How can you help?

1. Pray for those who have lost so much. Pray for the churches providing assistance, resources and spiritual support. Pray for our staff, for strength and compassion and resources.
2. Volunteer. Our rebuilding work in Lake County is continuing and will likely expand in the wake of these fires. Plan a work team now for the up-coming year. We have plenty of opportunities for you to help hurting families.
3. Give. Your financial gift keeps us going through these difficult times and provides the immediate support needed. Your gift helps families today who have lost so much.

Donate at http://hcrn.info/donate/#donate_hcrn

Thank you so much for your support of Hope Crisis Response Network!
Rebuilding Homes, Restoring Lives!