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Volunteer builders bring hope to Paradise fire survivors

A non-profit organization that helps rebuild homes in disaster zones is getting its start on the Ridge, after being delayed by the pandemic.

Posted: Mar 14, 2021 8:01 PM
Updated: May 21, 2021 11:44 AM

PARADISE, Calif. - A non-profit organization that helps rebuild homes in disaster zones is getting its start on the Ridge, after delays caused by the pandemic. 

"The pandemic has created the disaster within the disaster," said CEO and Hope City founder Kevin Cox.  He explained that because they are a volunteer organization they were not allowed to bring volunteers into the field.

Cox said they help with all parts of recovery after a disaster, but one thing they really love to do is help build homes for people who were not insured. 

Despite the pandemic, his organization has been working in five counties in California and has built seven homes that house 2-3 people per each.

"We are really looking forward to the vaccinations getting out there so volunteers can return into the field," Cox explained.

"We project in June we will see a slew of volunteers again," he added.

We are getting booked up pretty solid for the year, but in the meanwhile, we are going to start with a small group," he continued. 

Homeowner Frank Vergara says he is most excited about the new porch he will be getting on his brand new home.

"It is quite a blessing to have them help out because this was a family residence that was bought for my brother who passed away before he was even able to move into it," Vergary said.

"It is really a Godsend that I am going to be able to rebuild and hold on to the property for the family and everything," he continued.

Vergara said he is really grateful that an organization like Hope City can help him out because, he said,  "I would not have the financing to do it on my own."

Cox says they are excited to see more hope restored back up in Paradise. Most of the Town of Paradise was destroyed during the Camp Fire that started the morning of Nov. 8, 2018.

Cox says it takes about 58 working days to finish one home. He wanted to thank Adventist Health Partners for providing a place where the volunteers can stay while they are rebuilding homes on the Ridge.

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The first of two storms moved over northern California late last night and this morning, but our weather has quieted for now. More rain showers will fall Saturday, but heavier rain and snow with stronger wind arrives Sunday.
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