Thank you so much for your interest in volunteering to provide legal assistance to victims of the North Bay fires. This post has a link to sign up, and more information about what we have planned thus far.
We are setting up first a legal advice hotline that will be based in downtown SF and will offer brief legal advice on issues ranging from landlord-tenant, insurance issues, and FEMA benefits to employment and immigration. This hotline will have a soft launch on Monday, and a more robust launch with volunteer attorneys on Monday, Oct. 23. Our tentative plan is that the hotline will be staffed by volunteer attorneys from 4-8 pm Monday-Thursday, with attorneys taking live calls and returning calls received during the earlier part of the day. But these details are still in formation.
In addition, volunteers will be needed to staff Disaster Recovery Centers in Sonoma and Napa, and possibly Solano – these DRC’s are centralized locations that will offer one-stop resources for survivors of the fire, set up by local, state or federal authorities. We will need attorneys into these centers to offer brief advice, and help completing forms (largely FEMA benefits applications or insurance forms). Volunteers will also likely be needed to help staff clinics in those counties, focused on FEMA benefits.
By the end of next week, we will have 3.5 hours of webinar (YouTube) training to equip attorneys to handle either of these volunteer opportunities. In addition, of course, we will have people who need more ongoing help, with either limited scope or full scope pro bono representation in landlord-tenant, employment, insurance, FEMA and other matters.
For the time being, we are only ready to sign volunteers up for the first piece – the hotline. The other pieces are still waiting for things to settle down a bit up there.
Please sign up for the hotline using this link:
and we will be in touch next week with more information about the training resources (which are being updated as we speak). Thank you again for your willingness to step forward!