Community Bridges’ Free Cleanup Tool Library Helps Community Recover

Santa Cruz County, CA — Community Bridges is providing cleanup tools and resources at our Family Resource Collective (FRC) locations to help our community recover from the devastating floods and mudslides produced by the recent unprecedented winter storms. 

Community members can rent cleanup items such as air movers, dehumidifiers, wet/dry vacs, carpet cleaners, push brooms, and pressure washers, at no cost. Other single-use cleanup items, such as contractor bags, gloves, sponges, and disinfectant are also available for the community through generous support of Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, American Red Cross and Home Depot Foundation grants.  

These items are available at the following FRCs (We ask that you call ahead and check for availability): 

  • La Manzana Community Resources – 521 Main Street, Ste. Y, Watsonville | 831-724-2997  
  • Live Oak Community Resources – 1740 17th Ave., Santa Cruz | 831-476-7284 
  • Mountain Community Resources – 6134 Highway 9, Felton | 831-335-6600 

“It was critical that we responded as soon as the emergency began by purchasing items that would be likely to be sold out during the immediate days following the disaster. Knowing that those with the means would have the resources to repair while many working families and seniors would be with no other options isn’t a reality we wanted to see. This was a necessary response to ensure equity in recovery exists,” says Community Bridges CEO Raymon Cancino. 

To rent the equipment, simply complete a damage assessment form and liability release form at one of our FRC locations. Equipment is due and will need to be returned no more than of one week after check out or any time before then. We would like to give as many people as possible the opportunity to utilize the equipment. 

Community Bridges purchased the majority of the cleanup items available for rent and disbursement through the use of strategic agency reserves. In an effort to expand the program, we are asking the community to donate lightly used tools and new single-use items for the cleanup effort. 

Donations can be dropped off at any of our participating FRC locations.  

An early estimate from the County of Santa Cruz on the damage to public infrastructure as a result of the storms was placed at $36 million. That figure, however, does not include the damage sustained by more than 200 residential and commercial buildings across the county. 

With President Biden’s Major Disaster Declaration freeing up federal assistance grants and low-cost loans, hundreds across Santa Cruz County are expected to begin their road to recovery over the coming days and weeks.  

Before cleaning and repairing your home, FEMA asks that those impacted by the storm who seek to access assistance do the following: 1) take photos of your damaged home and belongings, 2) make a list of damaged or lost items, 3) if you have insurance, file a claim with your insurance provider, 4) apply for assistance at disasterassistance.gov, the FEMA smart phone app, or by calling (800) 621-3362.  

If you need assistance cleaning up, call the Crisis Cleanup hotline at 844-965-1386. Crisis Cleanup will advertise your need so local relief organizations, community groups, and faith communities who may be able to assist with can connect with you. All services are free, but service is not guaranteed due to the overwhelming need. This hotline will remain open through Friday, January 27. 

Clients are urged to connect with one of our FRC’s to do a disaster assessment that will allow us to help triage you and walk you through the road to recovery.  

About FRC 

Community Bridges Family Resource Collective has four locations to meet the needs of Santa Cruz County residents. Our centers in Santa Cruz, Felton, Live Oak and Watsonville create a safety net of services to meet individual and household needs. Our compassionate staff build a warm, friendly, safe place for the community to access resources that offer stability and hope for the future.  

About Community Bridges 

Community Bridges envisions a thriving community where every person has the opportunity to unleash their full potential. Together, our family of programs delivers essential services, provides equitable access to resources, and advocates for health and dignity across every stage of life. To learn more, please visit www.communitybridges.org. 

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