JACKSON COUNTY, OR. - The Almeda Fire in Southern Oregon has caused immense devastation, particularly in the 55-and-up communities of Talent and Phoenix, where over half of the roughly 1,700 manufactured homes that were destroyed belonged to this demographic. The recovery process has been a challenge, but the affected communities are making progress with the help of grants and contributions from organizations such as the AARP Oregon and the Rogue Valley Council of Governments.
The Firebrand Resiliency Collective, which focuses on supporting the recovery of older residents, received a $10,000 contribution from AARP Oregon. Executive Director Tucker Teutsch stated that older residents face numerous obstacles to recovery, including income disparity and disability, which have also made it hard for people to buy or build new homes. Additionally, access to technology and social networks has been a struggle for many older Oregonians, and the Firebrand Resiliency Collective has focused on addressing this issue.
Constance Wilkerson, director of senior and disability services of the Rogue Valley Council of Governments, stated that her organization has received a $5,000 grant and has assisted the region with increased disaster preparedness needs. She mentioned that the rebuilding process would be long, but Talent and Phoenix are progressing with new homes being built, gardens being planted, and businesses being reopened. The local contact for fire survivors is the Center for Community Resilience of the Community Action Agency of Jackson County.
In conclusion, the Southern Oregon communities affected by the Almeda Fire are making strides toward recovery with the help of grants and contributions from various organizations. While the process may be slow, it is heartening to see progress and the resilience of the affected communities shining through.
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