Silicon Valley Community Foundation has awarded a grant of $89,600 to the California- Nevada Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church to support two fulltime case managers to work with San Bruno residents impacted by last year's gas pipeline explosion. The Sept. 9, 2010 explosion and resulting fire devastated the Glenview neighborhood – resulting in eight fatalities, numerous injuries, the destruction of 38 homes, and damage to many others.
Case managers will work directly with families and individuals to address their long-term recovery needs, including mental and physical health concerns. The grant will fund the positions for one year (July 2011 to June 2012).
Immediately after the disaster, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) – at the request of Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr., resident bishop in California-Nevada – awarded a $10,000 grant to help meet the community's emergency needs. The Rev. Warren Dale (retired), a member of Woodside Road United Methodist Church in Redwood City and a Fellow of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, began working with the San Bruno Long Term Recovery Coalition to assess mental health needs and provide emotional support, conducting courses on healing from trauma as he did following Hurricane Katrina, after wildfires in Southern California, after the Conflict in Bosnia, and following earthquakes and tsunamis in various countries.
Subsequently UMCOR and the Cal-Nevada Annual Conference were given responsibility for providing case management services for survivors.
"Nothing happens in the recovery phase until case management begins," said the Rev. Jennifer Murdock, case management supervisor. "However, we are still just one part of a collaborative team of San Bruno agencies, government responders, churches, and mental health providers working together to assess needs, provide services, and promote healing."
The Silicon Valley Community Foundation is a leading voice and catalyst for innovative solutions to the region's most challenging issues. Erica Wood, Vice President, Community Leadership and Grantmaking, said the foundation "is delighted" to provide the grant to help the Conference provide this support for the San Bruno community.