The fall brought incredible damage and destruction to Sonoma and Napa:
- Close to 6000 homes gone
- Over 80,000 acres burnt
- Death toll still rising
- Estimated $3Billion on damage
- Livelihoods lost overnight
- Months of cleanup ahead
Although the fires are over, the long-term economic implications and the instability that it has created for many, continues to grow.
Hosted at Sonoma State University, in collaboration with 10,000 Degrees, a leading college success nonprofit in California, which helps students from low-income backgrounds get to and through college, we engaged their students impacted by the fire to envision the future of Sonoma.
The students reported that their wish for Sonoma was to find affordable housing, affordable childcare and affordable Internet. They asked for support to find pathways to careers, not just living pay check to pay check. Their biggest barrier is access to reliable, convenient and safe public transportation.
Interestingly, this group of students was particularly proud of their community sighting tight family ties and a strong desire to give back to their community.
In the 10,000 Degree bright, welcoming collaborative workspace set up for students, we are primed to help their youth develop their initiatives and ideas in Sonoma.