The UndocuFund for Fire Relief in Sonoma County is a collective effort by local nonprofits to provide direct assistance to undocumented fire victims. Our mission is to ensure that undocumented individuals and families impacted by the fires have the support and resources they need to recover and rebuild their lives in Sonoma County. The UndocuFund will assist with expenses incurred as a direct result of the fires, such as: temporary housing, home repairs, rent, groceries, essential household items, clean-up supplies, medical and dental expenses, tools and equipment required for work, school supplies, repair of essential vehicles, moving and storage expenses, and funeral and burial expenses. The UndocuFund was founded by organizations that many undocumented Sonoma County residents know and trust, and it is supported by a large network of immigrant-serving organizations that have close ties to immigrant communities across Sonoma County. As such, the UndocuFund is more likely to reach undocumented fire victims than any other relief effort.
An estimated 38,500 undocumented immigrants live and work in Sonoma County, the area that has been hardest hit by the Northern California fires. It is not yet known how many were displaced from their homes—temporarily or permanently—or how many lost wages or jobs due to the fires. However, undocumented immigrants predominantly work in sectors impacted by the fire, including service, hospitality, child and elder care, day labor, wine, and agriculture. Moreover, unlike other victims, undocumented immigrants do not qualify for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Even when they are eligible for other disaster relief services, their lack of immigration status, limited English proficiency, and fear of deportation often prevent them from seeking assistance. Their lack of trust in or familiarity with law enforcement, government agencies, and financial institutions presents additional barriers.