The small Haitian community in San Rafael was first established in the 60s but it has expanded; now most live in Novato, Petaluma and Rohnert Park. Some members of the community are now planning to go to Haiti to help.
After work, members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Novato met to share what little information they had about relatives in Haiti.
"My sister is OK, she saw him, she was talking to Kenny; I just, like falling down, just like an ice cream, I melted; they say men don't cry, I did cry," Benito Malivert said.
Pastor Edner Eloi said his brother called at 4 a.m. today.
"He said he was OK, but that was the good news, but the bad news, a lot of family members were killed," he said.
Now, about 12 of them are making plans to travel to Haiti to help their fellow men and women.
But not everyone has been able to reach the island.
Oakland resident Adelmise Warner was born and raised in Haiti. Without a proper infrastructure, she knew Haiti would be devastated after a friend told her about the earthquake.
"Immediately I thought, 'Oh my gosh,' I didn't know how big because I know Haiti is a country that is not prepared for something like this, when she told me it happened in Port-au-Prince, then I really, my heart just sank," Warner said.
Warner has not been able to contact her grandmother who lives an hour outside of Port-au-Prince. She and her mother, who lives San Diego, are desperate.
"Grandma, we need you to call, if you can have anyone just send us a message, my mom is dying in San Diego because she doesn't know if you are OK," she said.