What We Do
NC's programs are focused on building more resilient
communities through community-focused disaster
preparedness, 9-1-1 awareness, health and wellness,
mental health, and youth leadership.
Visit our events page for program schedule & location information
As an organization, NC aims to create a culture of disaster preparedness that is inclusive of the immigrant, Spanish-speaking, and elderly community members who are often most vulnerable to impacts from disasters. This means normalizing disaster preparedness, such that what we call “prep culture” is integrated into people’s habits, planning, and decisions 365 days a year, rather than only in the wake of a crisis.
NC’s 9-1-1 Awareness Program aims to educate community members about the 9-1-1 system, and the critical role that 9-1- 1 can play during a crisis. In particular, NC’s 9-1-1 awareness programming emphasizes that calling 9-1-1 will not jeopardize one’s path to citizenship, and that an inability to pay ambulance and hospital fees should never prevent one from calling for potentially life-saving assistance.
Phoenix Rising is a year-round multicultural youth leadership program committed to empowering the next wave of leaders in emergency preparedness and response. Project Phoenix Rising offers student participants the chance to develop school and community leadership skills, gain the knowledge and tools needed to survive and recover from a disaster or emergency, and explore future careers in the world of emergency services and response.
Nuestra Comunidad’s Fusion Iniciative promotes mental health through a multi-pronged approach that increases access to culturally and linguistically relevant mental health services, as well nutrition classes and exercise opportunities.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Comunidad Activa promotes general health, wellness, and community building by offering exercise opportunities that are open to all residents, including those who cannot commit to a longer program. Through this program, NC offers large, open Zumba classes in addition to other wellness opportunities monthly during community events. Comunidad Activa creates an environment where community members of different walks of life gather for a common purpose, leveling the ground that fosters community relationships.
Juntos: Together We Move promotes general health, wellness, community building, and self-care by providing exercise opportunities for caregivers and their children. NC recognizes the barriers that caregivers of small children face in being able to allocate time towards exercise while finding affordable care for their child. Accessibility and cost are two major deterrents preventing caregivers of children who are not yet school aged from establishing sustainable exercise routines. Through Juntos: Together We Move, NC aims to remove both of those obstacles by providing a no-cost exercise option for both the caregiver and child in the same location.
Nutrición con Intención promotes general health and wellness through a six-week program centered around exercise and culturally-relevant nutrition lessons. In this program, a cohort of individuals will learn about a range of topics, including: balanced meals, healthy snacks, “sometimes” foods, portion control, and the benefits of exercise. Participants will be supported in developing a fitness routine, and learning how to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound) goals.
NC’s weekly mental health-focused Hora de Recursos (resources hour) is led by Dra. María Álvarez, a bilingual and bicultural psychologist. These meetings are open to the entire community and offer a space for attendees to discuss challenges they are facing, in particular those that adversely impact mental health.
Seeds of Wellbeing is a six-session program focused on planting, nurturing and growing the seeds of wellbeing. In this program, participants learn the difference between stress, depression, and anxiety, and acquire the necessary tools to develop their ability to live in the moment, practice mindfulness, and improve coping skills.
NC's Walk & Talk sessions blend physical activity, mental health, and self-care to create an opportunity to build community. During our Walk & Talk events community members are invited to join us on a walk at one Sonoma Counties many beautiful locations. During the walk participants enjoy guided meditation and relaxation techniques, community lead discussions, and mental health support guided by topics that are relevant to the group.
With the support of Kaiser Permanente, NC promotes a Disaster Preparedness Campaign to ensure that every resident, regardless of age, ability, income or language, has access to culturally competent education to prepare for earthquakes, floods, and the immediate threat of wildfires. NC will work with communities across the county to boost resiliency, provide new accessible in-language information and advance a new culture of disaster preparedness.
Project Lifeline, is an initiative focused on creating systemic change in the Sonoma County 9-1-1 system to better serve all community members including immigrants, low-income residents, and people of color. Project Lifeline will engage in a two-pronged strategy that includes collecting and sharing residents’ opinions, experiences, and fears about calling 9-1-1 with local EMS responders, and working with responders to understand and address these barriers. It will also inform and support underrepresented community members in navigating and engaging the 9-1-1 system promptly and effectively during an emergency. With its focus on building long-term trust and mutual respect between the community and EMS providers, a mentorship program for high school-aged students to support first responders in developing Spanish language skills will also be integrated into the project.
Nuestra Comunidad is helping Sonoma County residents prepare for emergencies and major disasters, focusing on assisting bilingual and monolingual Spanish-speaking families with emergency preparedness resources.
Due to rising inflation and an increasing need for financial assistance, Nuestra Comunidad's Essential Needs Program disperses gift cards to community members in need. For families struggling to make ends meet, extraordinary housing costs often leave no room for people to budget for emergency preparedness. Nuestra Comunidad’s Essential Needs Program helps families purchase groceries, stock up on emergency supplies, and cover utility bills.
In partnership with the Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB), NC distributes free diapers to families in need through Project Smiles.
REFB are an official Diaper Bank in California, serving Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties. As a member of the National Diaper Bank Network and with funding from the California Department of Social Services, REFB offers diapers to families in need, through direct service distributions and network of partner organizations. NC is proud to be part of this network of partners.
THE DISASTER READY INTERPRETER is Professional Training for Community Interpreters in Disasters.
Disaster Ready Interpreters are trained professionals with the skills and knowledge to bridge the language gap in high stakes disaster situations. Join a field of passionate, committed professionals: become a community interpreter, specializing in disaster response! Community interpreting includes medical, educational and social services interpreting. It is one of the fastest-growing professions in the world.
The Communication Bridge and Nuestra Comunidad have partnere to offer this 40-hour training the with a special focus on preparing interpreters to serve in disaster situations.
Grow. Engage. Transform
NC’S RESPONSE DURING DISASTERS
Our team pivots to meet the needs of the community during times of disaster.
2019 KINCADE FIRE
Nuestra Comunidad played a crucial role in communication during disasters and provided a huge response to the Kincade Fire in 2019. During this disaster, we worked at the evacuation centers. We personally took care of scheduling communication and coordinated bilingual volunteers to come in and assist the community.
As our community members arrived at the shelter, Alma Bowen-the founder, was there to update them on what was happening and assisted them in filling paperwork. In addition, we communicated and worked with other organizations to make sure needs were taken care of. We remained in contact with the local board of supervisors, whose area was being affected, to stay on top of the situation and relay vital information to the community.
Here is an article, 'Serving Up Hot Meals and Hope During Kincade Fire', written by Rachael Marlow of KQED, that highlights the work done by World Central Kitchen and Nuestra Comunidad.
COVID-19 DISASTER RESPONSE
NC has been an integral part of the COVID-19 response in Sonoma County. We provided critical safety, social, and mental health support and education to our most affected groups. Our range of services has extended from tailgate training sessions with vineyard workers on emergency preparedness to our charlas on COVID-19 vaccination; NC has deep pre-existing relationships with Sonoma County’s immigrant and migrant populations, who largely work in hospitality or agriculture.
We have proven to be a strong and innovative partner during the pandemic and
have been able to reach the most vulnerable populations with the intent of working
toward health equity for all:
• NC works with volunteers and peer organizations to conduct “train the trainer”
sessions to equip community members with the knowledge and skills to inform
their own communities about COVID-19 safety, vaccination, emergency
preparedness and a range of other topics as promotores.
• NC communicates effectively with migrant populations who may speak
languages other than English – including Spanish and indigenous Mexican
languages such as Mixteco and Triqui.
• NC uses alternative communication methods – live videos, digital, and in-person
communications – to accommodate the wide range of audience education and
“We are all vulnerable,” Bowen said.
“That position that the gentleman was in… right now all of our compasses are spinning around without any direction.”
Read about Nuestra Comunidad and the work that we do in Sonoma Magazine.
This thought-provoking article was written by Julie Johnson and is worth reading.
Article, “The Anxious Season,” begins on page 82: