Gray Area Foundation for the Arts’ Oakland Fire Fund Final Distribution for Relief & Recovery Allocations

  •  Apr 14, 2017
  •  Gray Area Press Release
$1,295,007 was donated by more than 12,105 donors

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The second and final phase of allocations from the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts’ Oakland Fire Fund, created in immediate response to the tragic warehouse fire in Oakland in December 2016, have been reviewed by a research committee and program managers and approved by the Gray Area Board of Directors. All eligible claimants will have received a request for documentation by the end of Friday, April 14, 2017. Funds are being disbursed weekly upon receipt of qualified documentation. The goal is to conclude distributions by April 30, 2017.

As of April 12, 2017, a total of $1,295,007 was donated by more than 12,105 donors through the crowdfunding campaign on YouCaring.com and direct donations to Gray Area designated for the fund’s relief and recovery efforts. These funds are serving the deceased’s next-of-kin, displaced residents, those who survived and were injured the fire, plus hundreds who would not be acknowledged by traditional disaster relief organizations. Recognized here as “family tree,” we are serving significant others, roommates, artistic and business partners, and other biological and chosen family who can demonstrate a financial impact as a result of the event.

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. We have created an infographic to provide insight into how the allocations and claims are divided across the categories.


We have not published specific allocation amounts in order to respect recipients’ privacy. In an effort to address ongoing inquiry about the division of funds, we will be publishing a final report when disbursements are complete. The fund is set to serve a total of 390 claimants with no additional claimants accepted. The required intake form was available via Gray Area’s website for 90 days, from December 7, 2016 through March 7, 2017.

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, totalling 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.

For More Information
• Answers to frequently asked questions: https://grayarea.org/oakland-fire-fund-faq/
• Background, timeline, and contact for the Oakland Fire Fund: https://grayarea.org/initiative/fire-relief-fund/