To do this, ICTG works in tandem with VOAD partners (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster), including the Red Cross, local private nonprofits, business leaders, and government agencies.
Presently, the Long Term Recovery Committee, with representatives from local and State government, FEMA, and VOAD, is determining long term housing, financial, and behavioral wellness needs and best ways to meet these needs.
As in so many communities, especially after disaster, in the communities affected by the Thomas Fire and mudslides, congregations play a vital role in community care. Here congregations like B'nai Brith are providing templates for neighboring congregations based on successful response plans to previous fires; All Saints Episcopal Church hosted emergency medical triage and is hosting services of healing; First Presbyterian of Santa Barbara has opened its doors to share worship with Summerland Presbyterian and El Montecito Presbyterian; Trinity Episcopal has shared worship with All Saints Episcopal; the Santa Barbara Mission has shared worship with Our Lady of Mt Carmel; Montecito Covenant has been hosting ongoing prayer and educational services for students, parents, and local faculty from Westmont College.
Beyond providing immediate outreach, each of these congregations have members or neighbors who have lost homes or loved ones due to the fire or mudslides. Many of their members will be displaced for several weeks. Few congregations expect to minister in the aftermath of disaster. Yet, more and more, throughout our country, congregations and communities are finding themselves in the profound position to be long term sources of healing and restoration after great heartache.
If your congregation is in this position, you can find helpful resources throughout this website to find your steps forward. ICTG Resource Guides provide ordained and lay leaders with education and multiple tools for assessment and care. Our downloadable guides provide step-by-step information about planning services and providing care in your community. Our Long Term Emotional and Spiritual Care webinar series provides guidance for understanding the trajectory of collective trauma and the critical role of care that ordained and lay people provide.