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Mom and daughters try to brighten new home

Editor’s note: Light One Candle is an annual series sponsored by the Mail Tribune that focuses on an individual, group or organization that could use a helping hand during the holiday season. Once that need is filled, donations may be distributed to others in need.

Holiday decor, a festive meal and a few gifts would help this mother with two daughters celebrate a new dwelling.

Displaced by the Almeda fire, the family had weathered the past year and three months in a trailer with unreliable heating and air conditioning. Although their new trailer doesn’t replace what they lost in the September 2020 wildfire, the family is excited to have a more comfortable place to call home and would love to decorate for Christmas, said Marci McComas, resource specialist for Rogue Retreat.

The nonprofit worked with Talent Urban Renewal Agency to lease 4.3 acres at Highway 99 and West Valley View Road to create a site with utilities ready to house 53 trailers. Phoenix-Talent School District and other community partners collaborated on the Gateway Project, awarded $1 million by Oregon Housing and Community Services. The housing was designated for residents who did not qualify for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance.

The first locally driven transitional housing effort in the state, and likely in the nation, the Gateway Projects places residents in new, 37-foot-long Palomino Puma travel trailers. It could take up to three years for permanent housing to become available for Gateway residents, said organizers.

Because the family’s living and storage spaces are limited, the best gifts would be experiences the mother and her daughters could enjoy together, such as the Rogue Valley Family Fun Center, movie tickets or restaurant meals, said McComas. The single mom would appreciate a small dresser for the girls’ clothes and a few toys and playthings suitable for a 6- and 12-year-old. The mother needs some warm winter clothing in women’s size 22 or 3X.

To help, email McComas at marci@rogueretreat.org or call 541-622-9362.

Follow this year’s Light One Candle stories at mailtribune.com/news/light-one-candle/. See Sunday’s print and e-editions for a story about a mother with 2- and 5-year-old daughters who will know their first holiday without fear since escaping domestic violence with help from Community Works.