The following stories were collected from Yolo County nonprofits in Spring 2020, about their initial relief efforts. See more up-to-date information about our Yolo nonprofits here or by contacting us at .)
Cache Creek Conservancy
Cache Creek Conservancy is using technology to help people access nature during shelter in place. A Cache Creek Nature Preserve virtual tour is available to people experience the benefits of nature right at home. Staff is developing safe protocols and activities in anticipation of the lifting of shelter in place orders. Looking to the future, Cache Creek Conservancy needs volunteers for the board of directors and recreation and education programs.
Catholic Charities of Yolo-Solano
Catholic Charities of Yolo-Solano is responding to urgent needs caused by the crisis by providing food, housing and immigration assistance. The organization helps with rent and deposits, operates a food pantry, assists with CalFresh applications and renewals and provides immigration legal services. More volunteers are needed to run the food pantry, which is operated with social distancing and PPEs.
Center for Land-Based Learning
The Center for Land-Based Learning works through multiple programs to help support a sustainable food system. This is critical during the current crisis and to meet Yolo County and the nation’s needs going forward. The Center has ramped up its California Farm Academy adult training and FARMS leadership high school educational programs via Zoom during the COVID-19 emergency to ensure current students can continue their education online and further their careers in agriculture and ranch management —critical services to our community.
CommuniCare Health Centers
CommuniCare Health Centers (CCHC) is transforming primary care and behavioral health services to meet patient’s needs. This includes telehealth and limiting in-clinic visits in response to COVID-19. Staff launched a nurse triage line and are also providing medical care to homeless individuals through Project Room Key, in partnership with Yolo County. Volunteers are essential to CCHC and we appreciate and rely on generous support from the community. This public health emergency has inspired monetary and PPE donations, including hundreds of sewn face coverings for patients.
Computers 4 Kids
With school coursework now online, Computers 4 Kids is in full swing refurbishing and distributing computers for free to low-income students in the Washington Unified School District in West Sacramento. Low-income students are most at risk of missing out on critical learning during the COVID-19 shut down and Computers 4 Kids is ensuring that they have access to available online education.
Cool Davis brings neighbors, organizations and agencies together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and find sustainable living solutions. With people sheltering in place and using more energy at home, Cool Davis is increasing its home advising and cool solutions work, offering practical tips on sustainable low-cost living.The program needs additional volunteers to educate people about energy conservation, community mental health, neighborhood solutions and collaboration.
Davis Art Center
Davis Art Center, which works to foster dynamic engagement with the arts, is providing members with weekly, curated, online art-based activities for children and adults.
Davis Community Meals & Housing
Davis Community Meals and Housing is feeding the most vulnerable in the community during the COVID-19 crisis. Dinner is now available for pickup at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:45 p.m. and lunch on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. All the organization’s housing programs are continuing.
Davis Media Access
Davis Media Access manages multiple media platforms to deliver special COVID-19-related news and information. KDRT 95.7FM features a live COVID-19 Community Report on Tuesdays and Fridays. Under DCTV, DMA launched “Life in the Time of COVID-19: Yolo County Community Diary.” Collaboration is also underway with Davis Joint Unified School District to assist families supporting their kids doing distance learning.
Down Syndrome Information Alliance
Founded in 2014, Down Syndrome Information Alliance provides support, information, services, mentorship, and advocacy to persons with Down’s Syndrome, their families and communities. Having an intellectual or developmental disability like Down Syndrome can mean you rely on consistent routine and sudden change can be challenging. When COVID-19 struck, many adults with Down’s Syndrome in the community felt scared and isolated. DSIA now offers frequent Zoom Social Gatherings so people could connect, share their feelings, socialize, and not feel so alone.
Explorit Science Center
Explorit Science Center typically serves approximately 16,000 school-aged students and the public to support and inspire scientists in Yolo County. COVID-19 has upended operations at the Davis site and at schools throughout the region. Online programming is now available for teachers and parents and through the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Central California organization. Volunteers are needed to maintain the backyard pollinator garden, support summer science camps and Girl and Boy Scout service projects, and create exhibits.
Empower Yolo, Inc.
With the COVID-19 crisis, Empower Yolo, Inc’s programs serving individuals and families affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking and child abuse are needed more now than ever. The emergency shelter is full and new clients need to be placed in hotels. Empower Yolo, Inc.is connecting more clients with lifesaving services because this crisis has dramatically increased the need for services. The organization is also supplying the homeless with emergency clothing packs and continuing food distribution.
Lead 4 Tomorrow’s Family Hui program supports parents as they face the joys and challenges of raising children. In light of shelter-at-home, Family Hui moved quickly to adapt its group-based delivery model, sharingCOVID-19 information along with vital social services resources with families in English, Farsi and Spanish using virtual platforms, phone calls and texts.Through these connections, Family Hui continues to show parents that they are connected, valued, and cared for.
First In, Relief for Evacuees (Fire Foundation)
Founded in 2015 by a group of community members in Woodland, First In, Relief for Evacuees (FIRE Foundation) provides relief for people and families evacuated from their homes due to devastating disasters. COVID-19 presented a new challenge. FIRE stepped up to collect and distribute PPE and other medical equipment to businesses and health care organizations throughout Yolo County.
Fourth & Hope
Fourth & Hope provides emergency shelter, housing, addiction treatment and meals for Woodland’s most vulnerable. It is on track to drastically surpass the over 100,000 meals it served in 2019 because demand is much higher with so many people experiencing financial distress caused by the crisis. To ensure the highest level of safety, food is now being distributed off-site, which increases staff expenses and other costs associated with purchasing PPEs and disposable containers.
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacremento
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento helps build and repair homes for low-income families, seniors, and veterans in Yolo County through a unique partnership of homeowners and volunteers. We have been hit hard by COVID-19 and had to close the ReStore (which raises $120,000 a month through sales) and furlough 90% of our staff. The team at Habitat for Humanity has been working hard to #BuildBack and needs support to reopen Habitat construction sites.
Health Education Council
Health Education Council helps low-income residents improve well-being by connecting to each other and to resources. Using virtual formats, staff facilitate mentoring for high-risk youth; mental health discussion groups; walking groups connecting solo walkers; and coalitions of service providers working to leverage resources. Services are provided in English and Spanish.
Hope's Anchor, Inc.
Hope’s Anchor, Inc. partners with Yolo County Child Welfare to ensure food and essential items for foster children and those at risk of entering or reentering the foster care system are received. The Support Groups and Mental Health Wellness Forums helps to reduce stress and improve decision making for families and caregivers during the shelter-in-place order.
Humanity Beyond Barriers
Through its COVID-19 Victims Relief Fund, Humanity Beyond Barriers, Inc. is donating cash to local Meals on Wheels programs and for homeless person relief.
International House Davis
International House Davis plays a critical role integrating international families, scholars and visitors into our community. Work during the COVID-19 crisis centers on fostering social connections in this new environment with the launch of virtual programing such as a story circle and a panel on mutual aid networks. A new survey of Yolo County residents is helping International House connect respondents to food, childcare, volunteer and other community resources.
Meals on Wheels Yolo County
Meals on Wheels Yolo County continues it work delivering food (and now some personal care items as well) to home bound and isolated clients, the majority of whom are extremely low-income. Due to safety measures needed for social distancing, Meals on Wheels Yolo County now brings meals to all seniors who previously came to four local senior centers. The goal is to also increase deliveries to help as many as possible on the 96-person waiting list.
NAMI Yolo addresses severe mental health issues in Yolo Country and demand is greater than ever on the NAMI Helpline, with peoples’ mental health impacted by the crisis. NAMI programs are led by volunteers with lived experience. Support groups are now on-line, volunteers are providing direct support (sanitary supplies, food, and assistance referrals) to people living in board-and-care and independent housing. The Yolo chapter is contributing to local and state conversations on mental health and criminal justice issues during this emergency.
New Season Community Development Corporation
New Season Community Development Corporation has supported residents around Esparto for 14 years. Now with the crisis, it is operating a satellite pharmacy, a fresh food take-out kitchen and a safe Farmer’s Market. These efforts help residents reduce traveling outside of rural Yolo County during shelter in place.
NorCal Resist is providing rental assistance to undocumented and asylum-seeking community members who are not eligible for federal aid programs. More volunteers, especially those who are bilingual, are needed for client intake.
Northern California Children's Therapy Center
Northern California Children’s Therapy Center is using technology to meet one-on-one with clients for therapy sessions to address client needs during the crisis. Technology is also integral the Center’s daily developmental playgrounds and other educational support designed to help families maintain healthy routines. The Help Me Grow Yolo County initiative connects vulnerable populations, including children with disabilities, to community resources. Volunteers are needed to help with tech support.
Progress Ranch Treatment Services for
Progress Ranch Treatment Services for Children has been operating in Yolo County since 1976. Progress Ranch is currently the only residential foster care program for children in Yolo County. With the help of the community, Progress Ranch serves boys ages 6 to 14. Progress Ranch operates two homes in Davis licensed for six boys each. The organization is facing many special challenges due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Putah Creek Council
Putah Creek Council protects and enhances Putah Creek, its watershed and tributaries through advocacy, education and community-based stewardship. During the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, the Council is providing information via e-news and social media about where and how to safely enjoy nature along Putah Creek and spring events like the return of Swainson’s Hawks and the migration of Painted Lady butterflies.
RISE, Inc.works in rural western Yolo County providing social services, senior and youth programming, work employment assistance, childcare, counseling and more. Demand is up over 500% at the Esparto Food Closet, where RISE provides food four days a week; in response, RISE has partnered with Countryside Community Church and the Yolo Food Bank to expand Food Closet hours.Demand for RISE’s mental health services have also increased; RISE has funding to support only youth and is seeking funding to provide tele health mental health services to adults and seniors.
St. John's Preschool
St. John’s Preschool in Woodland is a childcare and toddler center that celebrated its 25th anniversary of service in 2020. During the pandemic the center is emphasizing childcare for children of essential workers including health care providers, farm workers and teachers. It is striving to maintain its staff in order to provide stability and enrichment for children and parents during this chaotic time.
Short Term Emergency Aid Committee (STEAC)operates several programs but is most known for its Food Closet, which has been adapted for the safety of volunteers and clients. Volunteers pack food in the mornings for afternoon client pickup two days a week. To meet increased demand due to COVID-19, STEAChas expanded to three days a week. STEACis fielding more calls for financial assistance for rent, utilities, education and job-related expenses.
Stanford Sierra Youth & Families
Stanford Sierra Youth & Families provides a wide array of mental health services and support for Yolo County youth and families. The organization is currently delivering essential mental health, adoption, and foster care services via phone and tele-health due to COVID-19. Stanford Sierra’s Lifeline Fund also offers temporary financial assistance for basic needs. Stanford Sierra Youth and Families is already gearing up for its fall Back to School backpack drive.
Suicide Prevention and Crisis Services
Suicide Prevention and Crisis Services operates a 24-hour Suicide Prevention Crisis Line. It received over 800 contacts in March regarding issues related to COVID-19; the crisis is increasing the number of people feeling overwhelmed with hopelessness, suicidal ideation, family stressors and other mental health issues.
Teachers’ Closet purchases classroom supplies that teachers would otherwise purchase out-of-pocket and matches donors to classrooms for special projects. As school resumes, Teachers Closet wants to be able to meet the need through robust community awareness about the program and additional donors.
Thriving Pink provides a network of support for local breast cancer survivors and the needs of this community have greatly increased due to the impact of COVID-19. Thriving Pink offers free educational workshops on health and wellness, and financial assistance for important and basic needs, such as groceries, medical treatment, health insurance, rent, and transportation.
Time of Change
To combat the increase in domestic violence and child abuse during the shelter-at-home orders, Time of Change is providing a 24-hour crisis line, and in-person and group teleconferencing to alleviate stress and teach healthy coping skills.
Tree Davis continues to crowdsource and share the beauty of our natural resources with #BeautyinYolo and #BeautyinmyBackyard as people connect online to respect social distancing. In addition, the organization is developing online resources for school-aged children about the benefits of urban forests, local ecology and natural resources. Tree Davis encourages residents to obtain and plant trees through our Community Canopy Program.
United Way Capital Region
United Way California Capital Region(UWCCR)is at the forefront of helping people in the region affected by the crisis. Its new United Way California Capital Region COVID-19 Local Relief Fund is providing essential resources for low-income households.In addition, UWCCR is partnering with local nonprofits to identify households whose needs have been amplified by the COVID-19 health crisis.
The People’s Vanguard of Davis is seeking interest and support for two programs that have been developed to respond to COVID-19. The Vanguard altered the Court Watch Program into a virtual one, using live streams, to continue encouraging public involvement at county courts, including Yolo Superior Court. The Vanguard is actively seeking interns who are interested in learning more about the judicial system and expanding their journalism repertoire. The second need is maintenance of the COVID-19 Tracking Project which has created a historical record of the COVID-19 cases within the incarcerated population in Southern California, which the CDC has not been able to do. They hope to expand this tracking to other counties in California.
Winters Friends of the Library
We support our library and reading in the community. With the library closed, we are promoting the safe use of Winter’s seven Little Free Libraries (LFL). We have put up notices at each box explaining that it is important to leave any books brought home “in quarantine” for a couple of days before reading. And we remind Little Library patrons to wash their hands thoroughly after handling books and the door of the LFL.
Woodland's Dinner on Main
Woodland’s Dinner on Main has a mission to promote locally based agriculture through education, community outreach and networking, including our annual collaborative community dinner party featuring a mouthwatering menu. To respond to the COVID crisis, Woodland’s Dinner on Main launched Yolo Delivers Hope to provide 4,800 healthy, chef-prepared meals from 12 restaurants to low-income families and vulnerable seniors.
Woodland Opera House
Woodland Opera House is keeping the arts alive by shifting all theater and dance education classes online. Participating students keep engaged with teachers who help them continue to build strength and skills and foster social connectionswhile sheltering inplace.
Woodland Volunteer Food Closet
Woodland Volunteer Food Closet provides a three-day supply of nutritious groceries and basic toiletries for individuals and families who need assistance. Its focus is on immediate and temporary support. Volunteers are delivering food to those who require it.
Yolo Basin Foundation
Yolo Basin Foundation is providing online wetland science activities and complete lesson plans on wildlife, plant life, pollution, soils and Native Americans for all grade levels to support distance learning. The Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area is being kept open for the community’s mental and physical health with instructions to practice social distancing. Additional volunteers are needed for many Yolo Basin Projects.
Yolo Community Care Continuum (YCCC)
Yolo Community Care Continuum (YCCC) works to prevent homelessness and incarceration for Yolo County residents suffering from severe mental illness including schizophrenia and bi-polar illness. The stress and economic hardships driven by the COVID-19 emergency have increased pressure on this population increasing service needs. YCCC annually supports over 800 adults annually through residential and outpatient programs. Many clients can enjoy stable lives with YCCC’s help accessing medical care, transportation to appointments, assistance with paperwork for medical, SSI and other programs, independent living skills learning and help finding housing.
Yolo Conflict Resolution Center
Yolo Conflict Resolution Center is providing free mediation services to help resolve disagreements among family members, neighbors, employers, or co-workers during the stress of the COVID-19 crisis.
Yolo County Children's Alliance
Yolo County Children’s Alliance helps families access services, learn parenting skills and find support. Since the Alliance supports vulnerable families, Yolo County Children’s Alliance has reached out to every family that received any services during the past year, to offer health education, resources and support. It connects families, when needed, with virtual home visits for pregnant and new moms, health insurance and CalFresh enrollment and retention, housing placements, food delivery, parenting classes and support, and employment support for youth who have lost work.
Yolo County SPCA
Yolo County SPCA resources are drastically depleted because COVID-19 forced the organization to close its Davis thrift store that serves as the primary funding source. The local SPCA places animals, who cannot be in a shelter, with foster homes and expects surrenders to increase during this financial crisis.
Yolo Crisis Nursery
The Yolo Crisis Nursery is open to help children whose safety is at the highest risk within the guidelines of health officials during the COVID-19 Pandemic. We are caring for children day and overnight. Case Managers are working with families every week to provide wrap-around services and connect them to additional resources in the community for support. We are continuing our in-home parenting education programs via doorstep curriculum delivery/pick-up and video/phone sessions. Our community care package program has seen a spike in need for essential childcare items like diapers, wipes, and formula.
Yolo Farm to Fork
Yolo Farm to Fork has launched “Garden on the Grow” in response to COVID-19. Each "Garden on the Grow" box comes with seedlings, seeds, a bag of soil, cans for transplanting, and care instructions for their family's new victory garden. The program serves low-income families at Title 1 schools; by partnering with Yolo County school districts, YF2F will enable families to pick up their garden starts when they pick up their district-provided free lunches.
Yolo Food Bank
Yolo Food Bank, as Yolo County Office of Emergency Services’ partner in countywide emergency food response coordination, rapidly mobilized its emergency food response to COVID-19. The crisis has inspired almost 700 new volunteers to join its over 200 volunteers to help increase capacity to deliver food to over 2,150 vulnerable Yolo households, touching nearly 5,000 individuals. The Yolo Food Bank uses volunteers and staff to make home food deliveries, prep and package food and more. More than 100 homeless individuals sheltered in motel rooms are also receiving food deliveries.
Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance
Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance has created Phone Friends for Seniors to address the needs of its vulnerable, senior clients staying at home. Volunteers regularly call local seniors for friendly check-ins. They also help connect seniors to food, medicine and other needed services.
Yolo Hospice continues to serve COVID-19 and other critically ill patients in their homes and care facilities. We have increased PPE and expect to purchase significantly more. We’ve transitioned some services, including all bereavement, to telemedicine. Staff is providing technical education to patients and clients to support the telemedicine transition.
Yolo Interfaith Immigration Network
Yolo Interfaith Immigration Network is now assisting undocumented families who lost their job due to the COVID-19 crisis, giving them financial aid to help them pay their rent and utilities.
Yolo Land Trust
Yolo Land Trust continues its simple and vital work - to permanently conserve Yolo County farmland and rangeland. Staff is now working remotely to accomplish the Trust’s mission. COVID-19 puts the Day in the Country, the Trust’s annual fundraiser in jeopardy. As the Trust’s only fundraising event, a cancellation, postponement or reduced attendance will have severe budgetary impacts.