Camp Fire Victims Find New Beginnings in the Basin

Susan Bryner

that they have to establish a home, and then some. The Lake Almanor Area Chamber of Commerce has been distributing funds to these new community members for things such as firewood, household goods, groceries, gasoline, and propane.  Many have lost the tools of their trade and are anxious to get back to work. The Chamber has and will continue to be of assistance with these needs, welcoming the new skilled labor and professional services to our community. 

The stories of each family’s escape and loss are as heartbreaking as is their demonstration of resilience.  Re-establishing a home is just the beginning of their journey. Re-building entire businesses, finding new employment, and contemplating career change to meet local employment needs comes next. Two families will even be welcoming newborns within the next 6 months. 

New to our area are skills in carpentry, contractor services, paralegal services, cleaning services, woodworking, nursing, handyman services and more.  When the Chamber or Wellness center makes contact with these individuals, they are also connecting them with the Alliance for Workforce Development for job searches and assistance with fast-tracking unemployment claims. Our many community organizations, Food Bank and Helping Hands, our churches, Chester Rotary and Elks have extended outreach and assistance as well as the continued assistance of our local businesses and lodging providers. 
We have indeed moved from the “little community that could” during the days of evacuation to the “community with heart” of today.  The response of these new community members has been one of tremendous gratitude for the love and assistance that has embraced them. They also report beginning to feel that growing pulse of hope that comes from finding, not just a new dwelling, but a new and wonderful place to call home.

If you know of anyone who is not aware of the services available to them from the Chamber or any other organization in our community, please have them call the Chamber office at 258-2426 or visit the Chester Wellness Center at 372 Main Street.  We will make sure to connect them with the resources they seek.
Town Chatter - January 2019

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