For immediate release
February 21, 2017
MENTAL HEALTH CLIENT EVACUEES FIND HELP IN YOLO COUNTY DURING OROVILLE DAM EMERGENCY
Woodland—Helping those in need, several Yolo County agencies, local businesses and organizations rallied last week to provide emergency shelter and support to nearly 600 Oroville area evacuees, including residents of several residential facilities serving mental health clients.
The Director of Yolo County’s Health and Human Services Agency learned at 3:00am on February 12th that 119 residents of four residential facilities serving mental health in and around Yuba City were being evacuated and in need of housing and supportive services.
Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency, with support from Yolo Emergency Medical Services Agency, local businesses and volunteers, quickly pulled together resources to house, feed and support the group until the evacuation order was lifted on the afternoon of Tuesday, February 15. Yolobus arranged for buses to bring the group safely back to their residential facilities.
“I credit my team, local community leaders and members, and faith-based organizations for pulling together so quickly to provide a helping hand,” said Karen Larsen, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Director of Yolo County’s Health and Human Services Agency. “A history of building collaborative relationships with our community, friends, and families is what made this process run smoothly. We are truly glad we could help.”
Larsen credited Yolo County’s emergency planning for helping the County respond quickly to the Oroville Dam evacuation emergency, including the ability to provide safe and appropriate services to individuals with mental health needs. “All counties can benefit from holding disaster response workshops to ensure that all county mental health support personnel understand the plan and their roles and responsibilities,” Larsen said.