I woke up this morning and spent a few hours getting ready before heading to Mountain Ranch. My heart was still aching from last night's post. However, I love my kid free drive to Mountain Ranch, the morning was lovely and I had some darn good music to listen to. My first meeting was with a women I briefly mentioned yesterday. She has yet to apply for any assistance and as of last night was feeling, "lost". This morning I messaged her and asked if we could meet. She does not drive so I went to where she is staying. I talked to her about their situation and I had her fill out a form for some assistance. She seemed very grateful for my visit. She did not ask for anything else, just needs to find a place to stay. I left and dropped the form off at the CCAR office and headed over to the Relief SIte. I checked with FEMA to see if she would qualify with them as well.
The woman said, "She needs to apply."
Me, " Does she qualify?"
Woman, "She would need a copy of her name on a lease."
Me. " What if she doesn't have that."
Woman," She needs it in writing.'
Me: "I don't think she can do that."
Women "She needs to apply"..... Thanks for nothing.
Not many people around when I got there except for the laundry area which was a bit of a social hub. I sat down close by and started listening, ok eavesdropping (whatever, it was for a good reason). I wanted to start conversations which is not my strong suit but I suprised myself today. I just did it. First, I ask a women about her dogs and that started a conversation. Next, I offered a gift card to someone who seemed like they could use it. That started a conversation which let to me asking if she know about the trailer program through CCAR (which is located basically ACROSS the street). S he had not heard of it. I got her 3 forms for her and other families. I noticed other people looking at us as we were talking about it so I asked if they needed one too. They asked what it was for and I said to get on a list for a trailer. They all said YES! I had them fill it out and told them to drop it off at the office across from Senders..... then I said F it.......everyone give them to me and I will take them over. I did and I discovered that even that is a little more complicated if you want a trailer on burnt property. But more on that another time. I went back over to the relief center and walked around to see if there were other people around. There was a young mom in her work uniform looking for some clothes and could not find her size. I got her information (though I could tell her husband was not thrilled about that). I told her about the BUTTE free market that is happening this weekend. She did not know about it. I talked to another woman who lives 60 miles out of town and was looking for clothes, also could not find what she was looking for.
It was close to dinner time at this point and I was looking forward to the chance to meet a lot more people until I overheard some workers there talking about how whoever was in charge of dinner did not show up..... HOLD UP. Did I just hear that right?!?!?! I went over to the food bank and found one man cleaning up boxes. I asked about dinner. He seemed frustrated and said no one showed up. I asked if I could order pizza. He said, "That's up to you but it was supposed to be from 4-5:30 and I have been turning people away." It was 5:17 p.m. I don't know what happened but I was not happy to see it.
The last person I reached out to is an example of why the relief site needs to continue to assist people. As I was walking up the driveway I notice two men pushing a beat up truck with some stuff in the back. The man driving it was looking rugged and explained it took him a MONTH to get there. He just showed up tonight! They sent him directly to the FEMA tent. I wanted to give him the CCAR form too so I went into the FEMA tent and gave it to him.
I tried to make this as concise as possible to describe a very special day in my life. I learned many valuable lessons. Here is one..... FUCK self doubt. One person can make a difference.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!