Subsequent to the 2020 Labor Day Fires in Oregon, CASA of Oregon initiated an effort to participate in the recovery efforts in Southern Oregon. That disaster had resulted in the loss of over 2300 homes, including 1500 manufactured homes. 18 manufactured communities were almost totally destroyed. It is estimated that nearly 6000 people were displaced.
Into this void stepped CASA and other organizations. While we were not part of the initial response efforts, we made it clear our role was in long-term recovery, focusing on ensuring that the community was engaged and centered in recovery efforts. Our role was to ensure the dominant organizations either participated with BIPOC individuals or deferred to BIPOC individuals in what recovery would look like.
One of our accomplishments was a recently completed, resident-led housing study published in collaboration with our local partner Coalición Fortaleza. Results from a hyperlocal survey of 150 Latinx and Indigenous immigrant families displaced in the 2020 Almeda wildfires reveal the penetrating effects of homeownership loss, spikes in housing insecurity, and the fragmentation of social networks long-established across mobile home communities in Southern Oregon. In this report, we highlight major findings and conclude with recommendations for action that can lead to a just recovery for our families most disproportionately impacted by climate change (see Climate Justice Alliance Justice Recovery Framework).
The following authors wrote the report:
Jennifer Martinez-Medina, PhD
Mahindra Kumar, PhD STUDENT
University of Oregon
Erica Ledesma, Executive Director and Co-Founder
Celinés García, Community Wealth Building Organizer
Niria Alicia García, Co-Founder & Co-Chair
And the following reviewers:
Rosie Andalón, CASA of Oregon
Peter Hainley, CASA of Oregon