The survivors

While fire and floods are equal opportunity destroyers, some survivors can recover more readily than others. Our campaign is to help people without the means to qualify for loans; without family nearby with whom they can share housing; those who are elderly, have health issues, disabilities, or small children, or who are otherwise vulnerable are the individuals we are raising funds to support. 

Here are a few of their stories:


Retired veteran

This retired veteran suffered uninsured loss on his small one-room cabin. Extremely low income according to HUD criteria, he lived simply in his off-grid cabin, with a generator for power, a cistern for water, and an outhouse--all of which the fire destroyed, along with the tools of his trade--providing yard care services. He escaped the fire at the last minute with his cat, chainsaws, and a few other items.

Last fall he lived in a donated camper shell on the property until it became too cold. He survived the winter in a rental in Winthrop, for which he had to pay only for power; however he had to vacate the rental before summer.

He originally planned to move back to the property, build an enclosure around the camper and heat it with a wood stove until he could collect enough materials to build a small, simple house. Instead, with help from the Carlton Complex Long Term Recovery Group and donors like you, we are about to begin construction on a fully permitted home, with septic system, a well, and solar power. By summer, this veteran will be home again. 

Middle-aged widower

This 60-year-old Valley resident suffered total loss of his uninsured home in Finley Canyon, plus the loss of his household goods and personal possessions. A few weeks later, the subsequent floods and mudslides destroyed access to his home, along with the homes of two of his neighbors. The client is low income according to HUD criteria and a widower since his wife died of cancer in 2008. The couple had been living in a converted earth-bermed garage, with plans to build a permitted residence. However, because of his wife’s illness and the 2008 economic downturn, the permitted home was never started.

The client has been living in a donated RV parked at a friend’s home. He also uses a spare bedroom in the friend's home and pays a small amount of rent. He plans to live on site in the RV as he rebuilds. 

The client was approved for an SBA loan and, with skilled volunteer labor and the economical floor plan being provided by the Carlton Complex Long Term Recovery Group, will be able to build a new permitted, fire-wise home this summer.