Group focuses on recovery after Clackamas County wildfires
A group of volunteers across Clackamas County is helping community members who were impacted by the wildfires last fall.
The Clackamas County Long Term Recovery Group can help with insurance claims, finding resources, cleanup, rebuilding and providing emotional and spiritual support in the aftermath of a crisis, all of which is available at no cost to wildfire victims.
Volunteers with the group represent a variety of organizations, including the Clackamas Emergency Services Foundation, the Oregon Food Bank, DevNW, The Loft, Estacada CERT, Southern Baptist Convention, United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley, FEMA, Clackamas County, the Molalla Chamber of Commerce and multiple faith-based groups.
Last fall, the Riverside and Dowty Road fires destroyed 150 structures, 50 of which were homes.
Kimberlee Ables, a member of the Clackamas County Long Term Recovery Group who represents Estacada CERT, said that one common concern they are helping people with is losing vital records in the fire.
"There are mountains of paperwork when you've lost everything, including vital records that prove you owned the property," she said.
The group has also worked to connect those impacted by the fires with temporary housing and case workers to guide them through the process of rebuilding.
They hope to assist anyone who needs it, and their website also has documents available in Spanish.
Last month, the Clackamas County Long Term Recovery Group received a $10,000 donation from the Beaverton-based Blue Mountain Community Management that will help 72 families impacted by the wildfires.
"It's our largest donation to date," Ables said. "It will help get the word out that we're here and looking to assist, and help us get people where they need to go."
Ables encouraged anyone interested to become involved with the recovery group.
"Any question that comes to the table, we have someone who can help find the answer," she said. "Anyone with relevant skill sets, wants to help rebuild or has extra housing material, we'll take anything. It's really community helping community."
To learn more, visit clackcares.org.
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