We are a family of six-- my
husband, four teenangers, and I. Two of them are special needs
kids. We used to live in Paradise, California, in what was called CHIP
housing, which is low income housing. On the day of Nov. 8th, our lives
A fire broke out and we were
told to evacuate from there. We left with a little bit of stuff with the
thought of us being gone only for a few days. We spent two days in a mass
shelter in Oroville, then the smoke got really bad and we went to the Yuba City
shelter at the fairgrounds. There, we spent 11 days. While there,
we filed for FEMA and got approved for transitional housing. We moved to
a hotel in Sacramento on Nov. 20, 2018, and stayed til Jan. 9, 2019. We are constantly looking for a permanent
place to live. As of right now, we are
staying in an apartment in Carmichael, California, trying to buy a house in
Barstow, California. We are hoping to
buy it by the end of the month. If not,
we have no idea where we will move too.
We are living off of SSI with my
husband being my IHSS worker. Money is
kind of tight, but we are doing it. We
lost everything that we have built up between two families trying to be
one. We were saving up so my husband can
adopt my children and so we can have a real wedding. My husband was going to make our dresses but
he lost all of his material, his patterns, his dress doll, and his sewing
machines. He lost two motorcycles and
all of our camping supplies. The kids
loved to fish when we went camping, but we lost all of that. The kids lost everything-- clothes, games,
computers, and shoes. I lost a lot of
stuff, but I don't care what I lost. I
only care about trying to get as much as I can for my kids and my husband.
The kids and I have been
through a lot. We were in paradise
hiding from my ex-husband who is serving 110 years in jail now. When I divorced my ex husband, we barely had
anything. We camped our way from Texas
to Paradise in June of 2017. We started
with nothing, and then my husband brought all his stuff out from Texas, which
included everything he collected over the years. He is 55-years-old; that is a lot of stuff.
I am so lost now with
everything gone; I lost all my family pictures and can't get them back. We will take anything anyone would want to
give us. We are trying to buy a trailer
to pull behind our SUV for when we move and for when we go camping. I need two medium to large freezers or one of
each, and everything else we lost everything. My husband had a guitar that was only made for
two weeks in the 80's.
My emotional state when people
look at me or ask me-- I smile and say I’m fine. Inside, I am torn all up because I cannot get
back the things my husband or kids lost.
I don't care anymore if I get anything; I only want to make them happy
and give them what they need and want. After
all, it is my fault we were living there.