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to Dennis Romero
Jeff Hill lost his house and lost everything he owned at Camp Fire. Officials believe they destroyed 90 percent of the homes in California's paradise.
His employer, the Paradise Irrigation District, told him and his colleagues that he would lose his job in the near future because it would take several weeks or months for the utility to start up and restart after the city's infrastructure was destroyed .
Hill and thousands of other refugees who do not have salaries or green cards face the possibility that 138,000 acres of campfires have lost their homes.
Hill is staying with relatives near Chico on Tuesday (local time). "There is no shop, no restaurant, nothing. If people want to live there, there is no place to eat, no water, no power, no place to dwell, it is just crazy as we have been for a hundred years."
Brock Long, manager of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told reporters Wednesday that the loss to Paradise 's 26,682 people is "all".
The catastrophe in Butte County, where at least 56 people were killed, is the result of a monumental housing crisis in California, where almost half of the population lives in cars, parks and streets.
There is no guarantee that you will be able to find a place in Golden State even if you receive federal and state grants that help pay for the poor.
"The housing crisis struck us just like any other place," says Sarah Thomas, program manager for the nonprofit Chico Housing Operations team. "Chico's vacancy rate is about 1%. Now that all this house has been lost in Paradise, more people will have trouble finding a place to live. "
Despite the fact that about a fifth of California residents are in poverty, the value of the state's housing is $ 544,900 and the average rent for two-bedroom rentals is $ 2,750, according to real estate listing site Zillow.
Before the fires began on November 8th, thousands of low-income workers and retirees fled from paradises with an average residential price of $ 200,900 according to the US Census Bureau data.
"Paradise is not the richest city in the city," said spokesman Darac Schwartz. "I was born in Southern California. It is also burning. But it is similar to those who worry about burning their beach house. The situation is slightly different for each person compared to the people in Paradise.
"The people of Paradise have no way of getting out of town," she continued. "People are stuck in shelters."
Refugees build tents in parking lots, including Chico Walmart, while others are sleeping in cars or with their families. Because Hill had lost his home in Paradise, Hill said 20 of his family were staying in a house.
"What's surprising is that there are several members who lost their families and then they listen to their families," Laura Cootsona, director of the Jesus Center, a nonprofit organization in Chico, Said.
Six months after her pregnancy, Carmen Beller (33) and her husband Ryan Beller (30) lost their homes and did not take out the tenant's insurance. They plan to be with his brother-in-law who has taken four other relatives who have been driven out of the fire.
"I will be in three and a half months," Beller said. "I am trying to find a house. [no] Funding is virtually impossible. Everyone has no home. "
Chico is the largest city in Butte County, but even without the 10,321 structures destroyed in Paradise, the shelter is usually full.
Richard A. Narad, managing director of Chico's SafeSpace Winter Shelter Program, which added 60 beds to the city's shelter inventory for 12 weeks from mid-December, said last year that the program "is leaving people every night."
"We already had housing shortages in the county," he said. "People are expected to end up on the street, and it will be a big problem until they find out. I think I need an RV trailer.
Joy Amaro, executive director of the Torres Community Shelter, said that although the American Red Cross opened four temporary shelters to respond to Camp Fire, there were usually less than 250 beds in Chico.
A Red Cross spokesman said two of them could be immediately accommodated. A Burt county official said that 1,385 camp refugees live in temporary shelters.
FEMA has promised 3 months of support for homeowners and at least one month's help for tenants to eligible and displaced residents.
Governor Jerry Brown said Wednesday, "We have a fund and we will help in every way we can."
Long, a FEMA administrator, spoke Wednesday with President Donald Trump and said his message was "to take care of people."
At Oroville, the southern city of Paradise, at least 200 evacuees set up campgrounds in parking lots last week. Tracy Grant went there to share a hamburger she made for them. She met a 93-year-old World War II veteran and a widower, Br Brdige, who lived alone in Paradise.
"I made an immediate relationship with myself, my grandfather's daughter," she said.
So she and her husband took him. Grant said.
She is not sure how the Brundige will go on without being homeless. She thinks she should be in an assistive living facility, but she is not sure if she has the resources.
The veteran fled to his cane and his vehicle on November 8. I drove to the parking lot of Auroville from the Congo Line. Almost a week later, he did not know that his house was lost.
Grant said on Wednesday: "We have been confirmed that it has disappeared." I have not told him yet. "
Jareen Imam and Stephan Kozub, Contributed.