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Oregon Program Will Help Wildfire Victims Navigate Recovery

Debris cleanup from the Almeda Fire at the Talent Mobile Estates in Talent, Oregon.
April Ehrlich/JPR
Debris cleanup from the Almeda Fire at the Talent Mobile Estates in Talent, Oregon.

Over the next month, ODHS will roll out the disaster case management program. The goal is to provide one-on-one assistance for helping wildfire survivors. That could mean helping people who have been denied FEMA assistance or who are transitioning from interim to more permanent housing.

“The program is really right on time with regard to getting to that intermediate to long-term piece,” says Ed Flick, director of emergency management with ODHS. “That’s why it’s so important that we work with and start from where all those other short to intermediate projects have been going.”

Flick says fire victims do not have to have applied for FEMA assistance to participate in the disaster case management program.

It’s funded with a $6.3 million grant from FEMA and will run for the next 18 months.

Flick says his office is starting the program with state-based case managers. In the next 4-6 weeks they’ll hire a national nonprofit to run the program. More information will be available at the state wildfire recovery website or by calling the state resource hotline, 2-1-1.

“There has been work going on in the community to help people,” Flick says. “Bringing this in now recognizes that there’s still that need, and that that need is going to continue.”

Copyright 2021 Jefferson Public Radio

Erik Neumann is a radio producer and writer. A native of the Pacific Northwest, his work has appeared on public radio stations and in magazines along the West Coast. He received his Bachelor's Degree in geography from the University of Washington and a Master's in Journalism from UC Berkeley. Besides working at KUER, he enjoys being outside in just about every way possible.