What is the 805 UndocuFund?
We began the 805 Undocufund in 2018 to address the growing devastation of wildfires in California that have destroyed and evacuated homes and workplaces, created hazardous air quality conditions, closed schools, severed freeways, and led to economic impacts such as housing shortages, wage and job losses, evacuation, childcare expenses and other costs for many across the region. Wildfires were impacting many immigrant families without access to federal safety net programs, including our friends, neighbors, coworkers, and fellow students. Many care for children and elderly parents; clean homes and hotel rooms; cook and serve restaurant meals; maintain lawns and landscaping; and tend to and harvest the fruits and vegetables that are the backbone of our regional economy.
The 805 Undocufund was created in the aftermath of the 2017 Thomas Fire, then the largest wildfire in California history, and the Montecito Mudslides in early 2018. The 805 UndocuFund was relaunched after the Woolsey and Hill Fires in 2018 and reopened again for the Easy and Maria Fires in 2019. The 805 Undocufund reopened again in 2020 and widened the scope of our mission to assist families impacted by the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The 805 UndocuFund is a collective effort to ensure that undocumented individuals and families impacted by disasters have the support and resources necessary to recover and rebuild their lives.
How will the Fund help undocumented immigrants?
The Fund assists individuals and families who have lost their homes, wages, and/or employment due to disasters with expenses including but not limited to temporary housing, home repairs, rent, groceries, childcare expenses due to disaster related school closure, essential household items, clean-up items, medical and dental expenses, tools and equipment required for work, school supplies, repair of essential vehicles, moving and storage expenses, legal document replacement and funeral and burial expenses. The 805 UndocuFund will also help affected families access other community resources to provide some economic relief.
Who is involved?
The 805 UndocuFund is a collective effort among Ventura and Santa Barbara County-based grassroots community organizations that have a solid reputation, strong track record, and are known and trusted by many undocumented residents: Mixteco/Indigenous Community Organizing Project (MICOP), the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE), and Future Leaders of America (FLA) with leadership support provided by the McCune Foundation.
What is your fundraising goal?
During the Thomas Fire and Montecito Mudslides, the 805 UndocuFund raised over $2 million. Our goal is to raise at least $1 million in response to COVID-19 to give a meaningful level of assistance to help individuals and families recover.
How are the funds managed?
The Ventura County Community Foundation provides fund administrative support. VCCF is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity; VCCF’s tax identification number is 77-0165029.
To donate you can go to https://vccf.org/805-undocufund-donation/. Donations at or over $1,000 are preferable by check payable to Ventura County Community Foundation and mailed to: 4001 Mission Oaks Blvd, Suite A, Camarillo, CA 93012. Write “805 UndocuFund” in the memo line.
Why do you need a fund specifically for undocumented immigrants?
Unlike other natural disaster victims, undocumented immigrants do not qualify for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), unemployment benefits and many public safety net programs. Even when they or their children are eligible for disaster relief services, their lack of immigration status, limited English proficiency, and fear of immigration enforcement prevent them from seeking assistance. Their discomfort or lack of familiarity with law enforcement, county government, mainstream aid organizations and the current political climate present additional barriers that prevent them from seeking assistance.
How many undocumented immigrants are affected?
We estimate that over 126,000 undocumented immigrants live and work in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.
Undocumented immigrants predominantly work in sectors that have been and will continue to be hard hit by wildfire and other disasters, including service and hospitality, restaurants, child and elder care, day labor, and agriculture. Many lose wages in the weeks following natural disasters, and others work for companies whose operations are affected at varying levels, from temporary disruption to complete loss.
Who is eligible for support from the 805 UndocuFund?
Undocumented immigrants, including mixed-status families, who are residents of Ventura or Santa Barbara Counties who have experienced loss of housing, job, or income are eligible for assistance. We are not accepting new applicants affected by the Thomas Fire, Montecito Mudslides, Woolsey, Hill, Easy or Maria Fires at this time. Unfortunately, due to limited capacity we cannot provide grants to individuals who live outside of Ventura or Santa Barbara Counties. We are, however, working in collaboration with organizations across the state working to assist impacted immigrant families in their regions.
What is the application process?
The streamlined application process utilizes a simple intake form, which is completed by volunteers and community partner organizations. Volunteers and staff have been specifically trained on the 805 UndocuFund intake and referral process. Once an application has been submitted, it undergoes a review process that includes verification and other due diligence.
Who oversees the 805 UndocuFund?
A steering committee of nonprofit organizations includingMixteco/Indigenous Community Organizing Project (MICOP), the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE), and Future Leaders of America (FLA) with leadership support from the McCune Foundation has established the eligibility criteria, developed a streamlined application process, and put in place verification procedures, as well as guidelines for determining disaster relief aid.
The lead organization for coronavirus response is Future Leaders of America.
How does the 805 UndocuFund guard against fraud?
A set of procedures are in place to ensure that funds go to families and individuals who meet the eligibility criteria. Provision of false information will result in immediate disqualification for assistance. Due diligence involves checking more than one source to confirm applicants’ identities and how they have been impacted by the fires
Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes, your donation is made to a 501(c)(3) organization and is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Are you accepting donations of water, clothing, furniture etc.?
No, thank you.