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Camp Fire survivors still in need of case managers

If FEMA had calculated caseworker needs for the Camp Fire like they do for floods, Camp Fire survivors would have had 200 case workers instead of 13.

Posted: Feb 7, 2020 6:06 PM
Updated: Feb 7, 2020 6:22 PM

CHICO, Cali. - The Long Term Recovery Group held training for case managers on Thursday and Friday to continue connecting survivors with resources.

"You have that moment that you're like I'm so fortunate I need to go out and help those that are not," Adams said.


Debbie Adams is a disaster case manager working with the camp fire long-term recovery group. On November 7th 2018 - she was a stay at home dog mom. One day later she began a journey that she will never forget.


"Being a case manager has probably been one of the most rewarding things in my life," Adams said.


Adams says with that comes sadness, gratitude and having a big heart for those in need.


"The case loads are heavy and you can only handle so many at a time because of the intensity of them," Adams said.


The Unmet Needs Community Project Manager Tracy Davis says the group has eight agency's doing case management work – and only two agencies are funded by FEMA.


Davis told action news now that number is a just drop in the bucket.


"If FEMA had used the same numerical calculation that they use in floods we would've had over 200 disaster case works funded by fema but they use a different formula for fires so we only received 13," Davis said.


"This disaster should be the reason why there should be exceptions with policies and procedures because this is something that has never been seen before and to have the low number of dcm's for the people that are on the ridge is heartbreaking," Adams said.


Camp Fire Survivor Stephanie Gregorio lost her home in the fire. She says her family is in a stable enough place where she felt ready to start helping others.


"It gives an instant sense of trusts folks tend to know she's not just some person in an office she understands," Gregorio said. "There's a lot of people that haven't had access to a case manager there's long waiting lists."


The group sent in a request to the state and are receiving eight more case managers soon that are funded by FEMA.


"The county is getting involved at this point and there are certain grants being proposed as to how to bring in additional support," Davis said.


"It's really fun to see that life is back on the ridge and its slowly coming back so its great," Adams said.


"They're doing it because they care about our community and they want survivors to do well," Davis said.

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