When Coyote Creek flooded its banks last week, it upended the lives of thousands of San Jose residents. The City of San José has asked Sacred Heart to help.
I wanted to update you on what happened, what we are doing, and how we need your support.
The flooding most dramatically impacted the Rock Spring neighborhood about a mile away from Sacred Heart and the William Street/Brookwood Terrace area of downtown. Many thousands were evacuated, but the worst damage concentrated on a few thousand households in these two areas. Hundreds were so severely damaged that it is not recommended that families return to their homes until they have significant repairs. To our knowledge only two homes were so severely structurally damaged that no one can return because repair is not possible. Many homeless individuals living along the creek lost everything.
Damages are estimated at over $73 million.
Mayor Liccardo has lead an effort working with other civic leaders to secure relief funds that will go directly to victims that have been temporarily or permanently displaced by this disaster. So far, that relief fund has generated roughly $6 million in pledges.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Lowe
WHAT WE ARE DOING
Sacred Heart has coordinated with the City of San José's Housing Department staff to develop an efficient process and criteria to distribute relief funds to stabilize the housing situation for vulnerable families. We are helping folks create a housing stability plan, performing a comprehensive needs assessment, and linking up victims with other help.
Last night we enrolled all the families displaced from their homes that were staying at the shelter, and we are now contacting those that have registered for help with the City thus far. We are inviting them to come to Sacred Heart this weekend and next week.
Starting this weekend we will be going door to door to enroll families in the impacted neighborhoods.
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED
We are in need of skilled adult volunteers --especially those with Vietnamese and Spanish language abilities.