A new center has opened in Montecito Thursday, March 8, to serve as a central source of support, information and resources for residents, businesses, employees and communities affected by the Thomas Fire and Jan. 9 debris flow.
The Montecito Center for Preparedness, Recovery and Rebuilding is at 1283 Coast Village Circle in the Lower Village.
The center is a community-based location where those impacted can access services, get information, provide input, voice concerns and get involved in the recovery and rebuilding process.
The center will serve as a hub for information and efforts that help prepare residents and businesses for future disasters.
A variety of agency and program staff will be present at the Montecito Center to assist the public. Linkages will be made for counseling services and with representatives of Santa Barbara County departments involved in recovery and rebuilding.
Staff will be present to help connect residents and businesses with support.
“I’m very excited we were able to open a center directly located in Montecito to act as a supportive place for residents and businesses to address recovery needs," said Santa Barbara County Supervisor Das Williams.
"This has been a devastating event and it’s critical that we have one place to go to talk to a real person to get questions answered,” he said.
"I encourage the community to use this new center as a central resource to receive support, information, give input and to get involved in our community recovery process. My staff or I will be there every day to provide support as well,” he said.
Thanks go to local philanthropists Paul and Jane Orfalea and Natalie Orfalea for allowing use of the Montecito Center building at no cost, and to the United Way of Santa Barbara County for contributions toward a dedicated staff member who will serve as the first point of contact for individuals
Staff at the center will link them to the appropriate services necessary to support their long-term recovery efforts.
The center's phone number is 845-7887 and email address, firstname.lastname@example.org. Hours of operation are:
Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Wednesday, 6-8 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
To sign up for Aware and Prepare emergency alerts, go to www.ReadySBC.org. For general information, call 2-1-1 from 805 area code or 800-400-1572 outside of 805, or text your zip code to 898-211.
— Ben Romo for Montecito Center for Preparedness, Recovery.