Californians who moved to Oregon for affordable housing now homeless after destructive wildfires

Nation/world
In this photo taken by a drone, homes leveled by the Almeda Fire line the Bear Lake Estates in Phoenix, Ore., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. The Census Bureau is contending with several natural disasters as wildfires and hurricanes disrupt the final weeks of the nation’s once-a-decade headcount. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

In this photo taken by a drone, homes leveled by the Almeda Fire line the Bear Lake Estates in Phoenix, Ore., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. The Census Bureau is contending with several natural disasters as wildfires and hurricanes disrupt the final weeks of the nation’s once-a-decade headcount. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Shannon King, a single mother, left the Bay Area a decade ago as housing costs soared, hoping to find an affordable place to live in southern Oregon.

For a time, King and her children were homeless. Then, they moved into a small travel trailer in Phoenix, a working-class community of 4,500 about 35 miles north of the California border. Six years ago, a neighbor heading into a nursing home gave them her double-wide 1965 mobile home, with three bedrooms. The rent: $600 a month, including utilities.

King, 37, a grocery store clerk, planted a garden outside where her three children played with the children of neighbors, including a taco truck owner and migrants who worked nearby fields and orchards. Like many in the park, King didn’t have insurance.

Last week, wildfires destroyed it all: The trailer, the Bel Air Mobile Home Park and about 2,500 trailers, apartments and homes in Phoenix and neighboring Talent. King, who is white, recalled pausing as she fled to urge Latino neighbors in broken “high school Spanish” to leave immediately.
“Now I’m back at square one,” King said Thursday as she stood at an evacuee donation center outside the local Home Depot with signs in English and Spanish.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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