We made it through the weekend in great shape. Friday was very smoky and staff took the kids off campus for the day. Same on Saturday, though, much less smoke. Our activities folks and behavior specialists did a superb job planning and implementing activities that would serve both as a distraction and as an opportunity to talk about managing in times of crisis and stress. And all of our staff was terrific throughout the weekend.
Thanks to all of for your good thoughts and prayers. Special thanks to Sheriff Geoff Dean who not only helped us in returning to campus Thursday night (instead of going to an emergency Red Cross shelter) by intervening and garnering accurate and actionable information for us, but also by taking a second look at the campus on Friday morning and suggesting some additional preventative steps we could take in case the fire turned toward us again. Also, thanks to CSUCI President Dick Rush for offering whatever support we needed during the fire. Dick had more than enough on his plate to think about, but that gesture of support was greatly appreciated and, I believe is reflective of the way the community responded throughout this ordeal.
I also wanted to share a couple of Facebook posts from our alumni – posted on Thursday during the height of the fire:
One youth wrote: “I hope we don’t lose Casa Pacifica. For some it’s the only home we’ve ever had.”
Another youth responded: “So true, that’s the only place that took us when we needed a home.”
Steven Elson, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Casa Pacifica Centers for Children & Families
1722 So. Lewis Road, Camarillo CA