Some non-profits distribute fire aid

MEDFORD, Ore.  – Two months after Almeda and South Obenchain fires many local wildfire survivors are still in need of assistance.

Several organizations began fundraising for wildfire survivors in Jackson County. While millions have been raised, some people are still waiting for aid. Several local nonprofits have been raising money for wildfire relief and there’s still help available for fire victims.

“We hope to payout our grants before December 15, but there’s a review process that has to happen. To make sure we’re doing the right thing,” said Dee Anne Everson, CEO of the United Way of Jackson County says her organization has raised about $2.5 million.

The first round of grant applications close Sunday, but there is a vetting process.

“United Way is about good stewardship people entrusted the money to us. And so we want to do the right thing with it. So we have to do a bit of research first,” said Everson.

Rogue Credit Union raised over a million dollars. It’s already given large amounts of money to Phoenix-Talent Schools, Red Cross, and the Rogue Valley Family YMCA.

People’s Bank is using the donations it’s gathered to help the growing housing crisis within the county.

ACCESS told NBC5 it has to follow a different set of guidelines. For example, it can only help low-income clients.

“The unfortunate fact is that a lot of our clients are just not the right fit for a lot of our funding, which is very specific in nature in most cases,” said Interim Executive Director Scott Lauray

However, the non-profit said just because you may not qualify doesn’t mean the non-profit can’t help you.

“Our job doesn’t just stop at sorry you don’t qualify for our particular programs. We think our job is to enable all of the agencies even statewide in some cases, but we try to stay in the rogue valley just to make sure everyone is getting back on their feet,” said Lauray

ACCESS said they have distributed hotel vouchers, connected people with rental properties, as well as helped make sure their clients are fed.

NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]
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