Gray Area Foundation for the Arts’ Oakland Fire YouCaring Campaign Secures Nearly $1.3 Million from Over 12,100 Donors

Gray Area Foundation for the Arts announced on Friday it completed the second and final phase of allocation of Oakland Fire Fund and achieved a total of $1,295,007 from 12,105 donors. The initiative was launched on crowdfunding platform YouCaring after the devastating fire at the Ghost Ship warehouse which claimed the lives of nearly 40 people. 

As previously reported, on the evening of December 2nd, the infamous fire broke out in the warehouse during a concert. This became the deadliest fire in Oakland’s history and was reportedly the deadliest building fire in the U.S. since the Station Nightclub fire in 2003. Gray Area Foundation Arts offered to help pay for medical bills for survivors or a small memorial service for victims. The organization revealed:

In an effort to distribute the funds as quickly as possible and address the pressing need for case evaluation, fund administrators chose to work in two phases, using the total amount available from the YouCaring campaign as of January 25, 2017 for phase one. The second and final phase of allocations is set to serve a broader spectrum of family tree members whose casework was delayed as phase one was completed. Claimants were categorized by relationship to the tragedy (displaced residents, survivors, and those injured in the fire) or to those who perished (next-of-kin, significant others, roommates, artistic and business partners, and chosen family). Criteria was established to qualify the legitimacy of each claim, and each division has received or will receive an equal allocation.”

Gray Area Foundation for the Arts went on to add:

“To conclude relief and recovery activity, the existing YouCaring campaign will no longer accept donations as of April 14, 2017. In its place, a separate campaign has been established to support the resiliency portion of the Oakland Fire Fund’s endeavors. A number of donations have been made specifically to support resiliency efforts, totaling nearly $200,000, and some of those eligible to receive relief and recovery funds have requested that their share be reallocated to this project. Upon completion of relief and recovery disbursements, fund management will focus on designing programs for long-term impact and community renewal. Development of these programs will involve community outreach and partnerships, and administrators expect to collaborate with many who have been served thus far to inform the work. The Oakland Fire Fund will only be accepting donations for this purpose moving forward. Program details will be announced during the summer of 2017. Gray Area is committed to serving our community in 2017 and beyond, whether through supporting education, legislation, or providing the means necessary to create safe spaces.”

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