I am hearing about families living in hotel rooms or rental properties as they wait for home repairs, rebuilds or the resolution of insurance claims. I am learning about people getting help for family violence, addiction, and marital breakdown. Job losses are increasing the turmoil. And now, some people are asking for help for the first time, having watched their savings dwindle to nothing.
When I arrived the first time I was taken aback by the devastation. Rows of charred trees, businesses and entire blocks of homes destroyed. The smell of smoke still lingered in the air. This time, I see full parking lots, line-ups at grocery stores, people going about their lives like they did before the fires.