Help Us Provide Crisis Relief image

Help Us Provide Crisis Relief

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we are committed to serving communities and individuals facing crisis in North Lake Tahoe/Truckee. You can help make sure we can be there for our neighbors in need during this time of uncertainty.

$989,789 raised

$1,500,000 goal

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Update on Sierra Community House’s response to COVID-19

(Updated April 17, 2020)

Sierra Community House continues to be on the front lines daily as the COVID-19 crisis holds our community in its grip. Our staff are working with community members who have been laid off and can’t pay rent or must choose between rent, utilities or putting food on the table for their families. The struggle for so many is real. As a valued partner, I want to update you on the impacts COVID-19 has had on Sierra Community House this past month and ensure you that we will continue to assist friends and neighbors in our incredible communities for the hard months ahead.

As the primary local food pantry and social service organization, we are having to evolve daily as the needs of our community grow along with the demand of our services. Impacts so far include:

  • Our Hunger Relief team distributed food to 160 households at the onset of COVID-19; we have since moved to a delivery model reaching 400 households.
  • The calls to our 24-hour Crisis Line have tripled, with a surge in calls related to rental assistance, domestic violence, and suicidal feelings.
  • Our advocates are fielding an increase in requests for legal support as it relates to worries over evictions, assistance with unemployment, as well as basic needs such as diapers, medicines and school supplies.
  • We continue providing support and emergency shelter to those experiencing domestic/sexual violence and child abuse, all while navigating sheltering-in place mandates and local health recommendations.

While meeting this increased demand for services has been challenging, I would like to highlight the positive way in which Sierra Community House is adapting services to respond to our community’s need.

Over the course of a week, we shifted from providing 95% of our services in person to providing 95% our services remotely. This was achieved by implementing a mobile advocacy model and virtual case management. Like so many other people, most of our team are continuing the work they have always done, but now from home; many on outdated equipment with unreliable internet connections while also parenting and homeschooling. In addition, Sierra Community House has had to shift all administrative as well as programmatic systems and processes to a virtual format so we can continue functioning as a business.

While these have been tremendous hurdles, I am incredibly proud of the commitment, passion and flexibility of our team. If there is a silver lining, it’s that Sierra Community House will come out of the COVID-19 crisis stronger, more adaptable and more tech savvy.

Watching this crisis unfold and seeing its effects on people’s quality of life has been heartbreaking. However, the support we have received from the community has been very powerful. Thanks to several local and regional foundations, as well as so many passionate donors, we are building capacity to serve those in need including:

  • Adding additional staff to our Hunger Relief team;
  • Purchase of a new food delivery truck;
  • Addition of a Suicide Prevention Coordinator position; and
  • Upgrade of IT and other support infrastructure.

As we plan for the coming weeks and months, we believe the need for services will exceed our current capacity. At the onset of COVID-19, we set a fundraising goal of $500,000. Today, we would like to exceed that goal so that we can continue to provide critical relief for the long haul. And we ask for your help. We will get through this together, because we are stronger together.

One breath at a time. One day at a time.

With gratitude,

Paul Bancroft, MA

Executive Director

Your generous gift will provide support and relief to those persons impacted by the ongoing health emergency. In the unlikely event donations exceed expenses for this specific situation, contributions will be used for Sierra Community House's entire mission. We use your gifts where they can do the most good by pooling them with gifts of others to help connect and empower our North Lake Tahoe/Truckee community through family strengthening, crisis intervention, hunger relief and legal services.