To provide a financial boost for those affected by the Sonoma County fires, the Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund (SOS) is offering special assistance grants to low-income residents for up to $3000. Through April 30, 2018, residents can apply for a special assistance grant at one of the Sonoma County partner agencies listed below.* The grants aim to help those who lost possessions, jobs or income due to the fires: get or keep housing by paying a month’s mortgage, rent or security deposit; cover utility bills; buy essential household furniture, a wheelchair or other vital health aids; or cover costs of medically required dental care and non-routine automotive repairs for critically needed transportation.
Aid may be available even if the resident received or will receive other fire-related grant monies.
SOS has long provided one-time, financial grants in nine Bay Area counties to help low-income residents with housing costs and emergency or critical needs. In Sonoma County, oversight of the program is by the County Human Services Department.
Regular SOS grants, under the program’s normal eligibility criteria, are available year-round by application through an SOS partner agency. All grant checks are written directly to the vendor or business – such as a landlord, utility company, dentist, furniture retailer or auto repair business.
For fire-related assistance grants only, some eligibility requirements have been relaxed from regular SOS grant criteria:
- Anyone who has received assistance within the previous five years is eligible.
- The applicant’s rent/mortgage does not have to be delinquent. Anyone who requires rent/mortgage assistance is eligible.
- For anyone who lost a job, work or source of income, being able to show that they can cover rent the following month is waived.
*Where to apply:
- California Human Development, Healdsburg, (707) 433-6652
- Committee on the Shelterless (COTS), Petaluma, (707) 765-6530
- Council on Aging (age 55+), Santa Rosa, (707) 525-0143
- Disability Services and Legal Center, Santa Rosa, (707) 528-2745
- Face To Face (must be HIV+), Santa Rosa, (707) 544-1581
- FISH of Sonoma Valley, Sonoma, (707) 996-0111
- North Bay Veterans Resource Center, Santa Rosa, (707) 578-8387
- Petaluma People Services Center, Petaluma, (707) 765-8488
- Reach for Home, Healdsburg, (707) 433-2107
- Redwood Empire Food Bank, Santa Rosa, (707) 523-7900
- Salvation Army Family Services, Santa Rosa, (707) 542-0998, ext. 270
- SHARE Sonoma, Petaluma, (707) 766-8800
- Wallace House, Cloverdale, (707) 894-2727
- West County Community Services, Forestville, Guerneville and Sebastopol, (707) 823-1640