Non-profit organizations working to help raise money for Napa quake victims

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Several non-profit organizations including, Habitat for Humanity, are working to raise money to help Napa earthquake victims rebuild their homes.

It's been eight days since the Napa earthquake and the effort by homeowners to assess the damage and begin repairs is underway.

Finding money to get the repairs can be difficult, especially those without quake insurance and living on limited incomes.

The state and federal governments may have some money to lend or give grants to those who need it to rebuild, but that might not be enough for many.

Luckily there are some organizations that are ready to step in and help.

Julie Barnes woke up to a loud rumble and violent jolt. "We could hear the whole house twisting and moving and glass breaking," she said.

She and her husband ran to her daughter's bedroom, but couldn't open the door. "The locks broke off and jammed, so we had to go in through the other door, which a large plaster wall had fallen and a fish tank so we had to move some of that to get to her," Barnes said.

The Barne's home is yellow tagged. "It's going to be extremely expensive to fix and get back livable right now," Barnes said.

They only have a small savings account for emergencies. "It's a huge stress financially especially when you have kids and families and house payments, you know the house payments not going away," Barnes said. "We're hoping that FEMA shows up."

"At this time we still don't have a presidential declaration," FEMA's External Affairs spokesperson Veronica Verde said.

Verde says that if FEMA does step in it will provide loans and grants. "The grants are just for emergency repairs. It's not a large dollar amount, so that's where volunteer agencies come in," she said.

Phil Bandy is the director of volunteers for the United Methodist Church in the California region. They are planning their long-term response to unmet needs right now. "There are certainly people who will not be able to either qualify for a loan because that implies that you have to be able to repay loan," he said.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief has helped in most large disasters around the nation. Most recently, they were in Oklahoma after the devastating tornadoes. "They were putting on new roofs, re-roofing and repair to those buildings and putting in new windows," Bandy said.

Many non-profit organizations have long-term disaster response teams that help low income people rebuild their homes. "It really is a comprehensive problem solving situation with multiple agencies at the table," Habitat for Humanity Craig Paterson said.

Paterson is the Treasurer for the Napa Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. He says they will be part of the long-term reparation efforts in Napa. "With all kinds of rebuilding projects, from fairly minor to almost total rebuilds," Patterson said.

Habitat for Humanity has a building supply store in Fairfield with everything from kitchen cabinets to paint.

Once the federal and state assistance is worked out, Habitat for Humanity will offer vouchers for building supplies and furniture at their store. They are now accepting donations.

So, for families like the Barnes are just waiting on FEMA.

"As soon as they're open, I'll be down there," Barnes said.

The non profits in this story need donations now so that when they are called on to start helping rebuild, the funds will be there.
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