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Local group helping build homes for fire survivors on the ridge

The group “Love Builds” teamed up with other organizations to help build new houses for Camp Fire survivors.

Posted: Jun 15, 2021 6:30 PM
Updated: Jun 15, 2021 6:31 PM

PARADISE, Calif. – Soon, one Camp Fire survivor from Paradise will have a new place to call home.

It’s all thanks to help from the group “Love Builds” that teamed up with other organizations to help build new houses for Camp Fire survivors.

The very first home they are building is going to a woman named Beckie Portlock who lost everything during the fire in 2018.

It's been 950 days since Portlock lost her house, but in just a few months, she will have a new place to call home.

"It's going to be nice to get out of where I’ve been living and get into a home on solid ground, I don’t know what I'm gonna do or how I'm going to feel but I know I'm going to feel elated," said Portlock.

Beckie had just saved enough money to buy her first house in Paradise but seven months after she bought it, she lost it.  She’s been staying in an RV that was given to her by FEMA.

Her new home is going to have two bedrooms and two bathrooms as she will be moved in by November.

Local contractor Mark Balken helped start the organization.

"When I heard that story, it kinda broke my heart, nobody was helping people like Beckie, nobody was helping people that just needed a small home, something to live in," he said.

Balken got help from many different organizations, businesses and community members that stepped up along the way to help people like Beckie get their lives back.

Love Builds is an organization that uses volunteer efforts from the U.S. Airforce, Seventh Day Adventist Church, Academy Mortgage, and Maranatha International, along with donations from places like Lowe's to build homes for fire survivors to move in without out of pocket costs. 

This will be the first home built by the group, they hope to build seven in their first year and twice as many during their second year.

These are the organizations who helped with the build:

  1. Paradise Adventist Church
  2. Mark Balken Construction
  3. Sol Sanctuary
  4. Academy Mortgage
  5. Lowe’s
  6. Maranatha Volunteers International
  7. Nor Cal Construction
  8. Rebuild Paradise
  9. Paradise Recreation & Park District
  10. Regenerating Paradise
  11. Skyway Tools
  12. Air Force Sergeants Association
  13. Northgate Aggregate-Brian Rolfe
  14. Guy Rents
  15. Dadco Construction
  16. Foothill Fire & Sprinkler

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We began the first full week of August on a slightly cooler note with a lot of high clouds, haze and smoke for most parts of northern California. The high clouds will remain through much of Tuesday, with other changes coming soon.
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