Displaced Almeda Fire family moves into new home just in time for Thanksgiving

TALENT, Ore. —A family displaced by the Almeda fire now has a new place to call home, as Thanksgiving approaches. We first told you about the Brooks family last year, along with their search for a permanent home. (And we spoke with them again on the one-year anniversary of this tragic fire.)

The Brooks family has bounced around from place to place since the Almeda Fire took everything from them. Monday, they took their first steps into their new home. Like so many others they lost their home on September 8th, 2020 in the Almeda Fire. Single mother Christy Brooks and her two children have struggled to find a place to call home since.

“It was different because a lot of people there house burnt down, ours was just super damaged so I had to physically take everything out and throw it away and that was hard,” said Brooks.

Since the fire, the family has bounced around from location to location. They spent some time in a motel and last Christmas, Brooks and the children were happy to call an RV at Emigrant Lake home.

“It did its job it kept us safe,” said Brooks. But that too came with challenges. “The breaker box for the trailer was bad so the power kept going off and one night is was off for 6 hours when it was super cold, we had no power so we were all sleeping together in one bed to stay warm,” she said.

Through a friend, Christy heard about the Gateway Transitional Housing Project. Monday the family became the first to move into the new facility.

The 53 space site is located on Highway 99 and west Valley View Road. It will house displaced families in the Phoenix-Talent School District. It’s being operated by Rogue Retreat.

“We got out and we got to see the trailer and I just started crying because it is so beautiful, I can’t believe they did this for us they just went above and beyond,” said Brooks.

Tracy Koa is the Student and Family Engagement Specialist for the Phoenix-Talent School District.  She helps students and their families connect with resources when times are tough.

“I was like teared up just to see how excited they were they are beautiful inside, they are brand new, and it’s just so much more than a lot of our families have had in this last year,” said Koa.

Brooks says she and her family have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. “For people who have lost everything this is a trailer but it’s home now and it’s amazing and I can’t wait to see their joy when they come in,” she said.

Right now, she just can’t wait to decorate for the holidays.

Applications are still being accepted. To apply visit the Rogue Retreat website, and click on Talent- Gateway.

NBC5 News Reporter Jenna King is a Burbank native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at the U of O, she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through interning with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors, or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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