New community program engages under-resourced, low-income communities.
Prepared and Resilient Communities (PARC), a new community program that aims to engage under-resourced and low-income communities through a neighbor-helping-neighbor emergency preparedness framework, recently held its first class. PARC was established by Rachel Kertz, coordinator of Central Marin’s Neighborhood Response Group, with the assistance of an initial $15,000 grant from the California Fire Foundation.
“Many in our community work multiple jobs, live in high-density neighborhoods, and don’t have access to emergency preparedness resources,” said Kertz, a San Rafael councilmember. “A significant number of community members are not being reached by current emergency outreach programs.”
The PARC program is designed to expand Marin County’s Get Ready and Neighborhood Response Programs to under-resourced communities that, when a disaster strikes, often bear the disproportionate burden.
At its core, the PARC initiative offers community resiliency by providing dedicated time, targeted training and incentives. This starts with a comprehensive two-hour class on disaster awareness, creating Go Bags, and signing up for emergency alerts. Upon completion of the class, participants receive a $50 gift card.
Each class is designed to accommodate 30 individuals with an approximate cost of $3,000 per class. This cost primarily funds the stipends of the participants and the class assistants. The PARC program is seeking additional funding to expand its reach across all communities in Marin.
According to Maureen “Mo” de Nieva-Marsh, director of Whole Family and Community Services at Community Action of Marin, the PARC program is establishing trust.
“By recognizing that people of color, non-English-speaking individuals and low-income communities are disproportionately affected by disasters, the PARC program seeks to correct this disparity,” de Nieva-Marsh said.
As an ongoing partner to PARC, CAM plays a role in the program’s success by offering on-site childcare, Spanish-speaking trainers and active participation in the recruitment and registration of participants. Additionally, CAM will manage the administration of stipends through gift cards, ensuring direct incentives for program completion.
For more information, visit tinyurl.com/ywwcdmuf or call 415-937-7779.