The American Red Cross of Kern County is in the process of transitioning Erskine Fire operations from immediate response and emergency sheltering needs to long term recovery.. An effort is underway to provide the last remaining Kernville Elementary shelter residents with the resources they need to find new lodging and recovery opportunities through 12:00 p.m. Thursday, July 7, 2016.
“Our Red Cross volunteers have been providing around the clock care for hundreds of Lake Isabella residents,” said Executive Director Barry Falke, “We understand the impact this fire had on the community. Now we are helping to get these families on the long road to recovery.”
Since the shelters first opened on Thursday, June 23, 2016, the Red Cross has provided over 770 overnight stays, served over 1,401 meals in partnership with Salvation Army, provided 2,433 snacks and made over 1,500 health contacts. Shelter residents at St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Wofford Heights were transitioned to the Kernville Elementary site on Friday, July 1, 2016, as evacuation orders began to lift.
Residents that have lost their homes due to the fire or have suffered major damage are encouraged to meet one-on-one with a Red Cross caseworker at the Local Assistance Center (LAC) at the Woodrow W. Wallace Elementary School gymnasium in order to receive financial assistance or additional resources for recovery which may include clothing assistance, referrals for other organizations, emotional support, water, snacks, and more.
Earlier this week, caseworkers met with the remaining shelter residents to help them develop a plan for recovery and new long term housing.
“We are here to make sure that every single family gets access to services they may need,” said Falke, “The Red Cross and the community as a whole has a duty to make sure these residents are supported for the long term.”
The Red Cross has been able to help families affected by the Erskine Fire thanks to the generosity of the community. Please click, text, or call to donate to the Red Cross to help people affected by disasters big and small. Every single donation brings hope to those in need. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
About the American Red Cross Central California Region
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. The American Red Cross Central California Region provides services to the ten counties across Central California that is home to more than 4 million people.