Camp Fire survivors struggle to find housing with FEMA eviction looming

The FEMA temporary housing community in Chico is closing its doors this Friday, leaving some Camp Fire survivors stranded and worried about the future. The Erickson’s are one of those families.

Posted: Sep 5, 2021 6:32 PM
Updated: Sep 6, 2021 10:10 AM

CHICO, Calif. - The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) temporary housing community in Chico is closing its doors this Friday, leaving some Camp Fire survivors stranded and worried about the future.

Mike and Crystal Erickson are two of those survivors.

“If you asked me last week, we had no hope,” Mike Erickson said.

After watching their entire Paradise community of 30 years burn down and being moved from camp to camp, they ended up at the Chico FEMA site.

But in less than one week, the Erickson’s and others at the site won’t have that place to call home.

“It’s been almost more traumatic than losing everything,” Mike continued. “Not the disaster itself, but just losing everything that we own. I didn’t even have a shirt on when we got out of Paradise.”

Crystal has suffered through multiple strokes, leaving her disabled.

But each FEMA home they have lived in has never been ADA-compliant, forcing her to be a prisoner to her bed and has made even showering extremely difficult.

Because of her condition, Mike is her full-time caregiver.

“It would be so nice to go for a walk on Sundays,” Mike said. “We made a vow back in the ‘80s when we first got together that we wouldn’t leave each other in a nursing home.”

But because of this looming deadline, people from all over are starting to rally around the Erickson family.

Their son Jacob has since started a GoFundMe page to help raise money to get them an ADA-compliant apartment in Paradise for a year.

For Mike and Crystal, this help would mean everything.

“Thank you for the support,” he wept. “A lot of people have come from all over to help. We appreciate it.”

They are hoping to raise at least $12,000 and raise enough funds to get Mike and Crystal a handicap-accessible van before this coming Friday.

To help the Erickson family get housing, click here.

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Light scattered showers are on tap for the start of your Thursday, and I'm tracking heavier rain ahead from Thursday afternoon through mid day Friday. We'll have a lull in our wet pattern late Friday through early Saturday, but even heavier rain and snow will return this weekend and persist into next week. Major travel impacts will be possible across northern California from this wet weather.
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