The Resilience Hubs Initiative was created in response to the urgent need to build resilience in our homes and communities in the wake of the climate crisis and social injustice. From recreation centers to housing complexes, resilience hubs are trusted community centers and spaces that serve as a gathering place to distribute resources, exchange information, and express community care during disasters; while supporting community programming and permaculture-inspired climate solutions year-round.
|What local community groups already have||What the Resilience Hub Initiative can support on|
|Deep community connections and trust||Resources on how and why to take climate action, and their benefits|
|Deep understanding of local needs||Guidance on site assessment and infrastructure upgrades for climate resiliency|
|Fast mobilization to frontline communities disproportionately impacted by climate change||Connections to funding, regional programs, and other resources|
Because community-based organizations such as faith groups, non-profits, and schools already have existing relationships and community networks, residents will be more likely to seek resources or help from them in a climate event. Rather than recreating the wheel then, the City's role is to provide guidance and resources to these organizations so they can better serve the community in climate events and beyond. This can look like technical resources on what makes a building climate resilient, grant writing assistance, programming support, and connecting to regional incentives. The goal is to build greater capacity and enable more spaces in San Leandro to be climate resilient.
How do Resilience Hubs operate?
From the Urban Sustainability Directors' Network (USDN)'s resilience hubs framework, hubs can serve communities in three different phases:
- NORMAL: Resilience Hubs provide a home base for residents, businesses, and organizations to gather for workshops, events, meals, and training opportunities that benefit a range of community needs, including resilience. Hubs function in normal mode the majority of the time, meaning there are no hazards present and all critical infrastructure is available and functioning properly.
- DISRUPTION: Although Resilience Hubs will function at “normal mode” most of the time, they are intended to also act as centers for preparedness, response, and recovery. In the event of a disruption, Hubs will switch from Normal Mode into reacting and responding to the disruption and will enhance operations to better support immediate community needs. With enhanced systems and capacity, Hubs can ideally help reduce the need of emergency services and better connect residents and businesses with supplies, information and support during a disruption
- RECOVERY: After disruption, Hubs are ideally intended to switch into Recovery Mode. Resilience Hubs can play a critical role in post-disruption recovery and ongoing community needs. The same inequities frontline communities experience before and during a disaster tend to impact their ability to recover, let alone thrive, after a disruption. Hubs can act as centers for resource deliveries and distribution, access to support and assistance for complicated processes such as filling out relief or insurance forms, locations to access support services for trauma and can even be locations where Community Benefits Agreements are generated. Hubs can also be central locations for external partners to gather and support recovery services such as conducting needs assessments, damage assessments, interviews with residents, and collecting data.
Within that, there are five resilience areas that hubs should look at:
- PROGRAMMING: Offering additional services and programs that build relationships, promote community preparedness, and improve residents’ health and well-being.
- STRUCTURE: Strengthening the resilience of the facility to ensure that it meets operational goals in all conditions.
- POWER: Ensuring reliable backup power to the facility during a hazard while also improving the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of operations in all three operating modes.
- COMMUNICATIONS: Ensuring the ability to communicate within and outside the service area year-around and especially during disruptions and throughout recovery.
- OPERATIONS: Ensuring personnel and processes are in place to operate the facility in all three modes.
Interested in learning more and getting involved? Contact the Sustainability Office at [email protected].
The Climate Resiliency Mini Grant Program
This fund is designed to kickstart small climate projects and community building. This ties into the resilience hub initiative where community based organizations act as hubs for the neighborhoods and help to equitably meet local needs through trust and empowerment. To be eligible to apply, organizations must have previously participated in the NorCal Resilience Hub Leadership program or have actively engaged with BayREN or Alameda County’s Green Business Program. Grant awards are available between $1000-$2500 towards items such as: small appliances, program materials, stipends, or other administrative staff time. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis and the Sustainability Office will work with selected applicants to ensure success of their projects.