**Updated on 8/25**
We would like to update you all on how we have been and plan to continue to use this money to support our houseless neighbors who are affected by the fire. Over the last 5 days, we’ve received over $20,000 in donations. We have been spending this money on the supplies we listed. We’ve made online purchases of 50 tents and 900 KN95 masks. We’ve also purchased 80 more tents, 20 sleeping pads, and 30 sleeping bags through organizing volunteers to buy them and having us ensure reimbursement once our withdrawal goes through. On top of that many more tents and sleeping bags and pads have been bought for us and donated in-kind. We have spent nearly $11,000 in the last 3 days on these supplies alone, and will continue to use our remaining funds to buy more of these items, as well as more hygienic supplies and PPE. We are keeping a detailed spreadsheet to document our purchases, and have gathered all receipts.
We have multiple people on our team who have experience distributing supplies to houseless people, and we have relationships with other organizations and service providers that do this work all the time. Using a simple needs-based distribution model, we have been distributing the supplies we already have purchased twice a day in the specific areas of San Lorenzo Park, Depot Park, and Coral St., where our houseless neighbors are receiving evacuation support. We also made sure that supplies were brought to the places where we could contact houseless community members who were evacuating from the Pogonip and Sycamore Grove, and offered them supplies on their way out. We also have delivered masks and tents to service providers who do consistent outreach to houseless people in the community, and those partners have already distributed much of what we’ve purchased.
In our original fundraising post, we committed to donating all remaining funds to Food Not Bombs if we could not spend them somehow, and we are keeping that commitment in place. However, we do not expect to have any leftover funds, we have had zero trouble spending the money we have raised, even though everything spent so far is us fronting the cost until we begin receiving the money from GoFundMe. We would deliver the remaining funds to Food not Bombs via their website, where they have a donation page (http://foodnotbombs.net/new_site/donatemonthly.php). This donation would go directly to the local chapter, with whom we are already working closely. We would get a receipt for our donation and post it publicly.
We thank you for your continued support!