The Red Cross emergency shelter at UCSB’s Multi Activity Court (MAC) welcomed more than 60 people last night as the Thomas Fire moved farther into Santa Barbara County. The shelter serves as a bustling home-away-from-home for adults and children. “We really appreciate being able to set up here on campus,” said Red Cross volunteer Jennifer Ramieh. “And the UCSB students have been fantastic. More than a dozen have come in asking how they can volunteer.”
The emergency shelter, which opened Tuesday, Dec. 5, and initially housed people from Ventura County, provides beds, blankets, food and fellowship to those temporarily displaced by the fire. “Our youngest resident is 2 years old and our oldest is 91,” said Ramieh. An experienced Red Cross veteran, she encourages community members who want to assist those impacted by the fire to make contributions to the Food Bank and other community-based non-profit organizations “that will help people get back on their feet” when the current crisis ends.
The shelter on campus is at 516 Ocean Rd. Parking is in Lot 16. Evacuees should enter through the campus’s east entrance. Contact the shelter directly at (805) 893-6080.