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The Big List: All Fire Relief Efforts Mentioned On The JX

Hundreds of residences and businesses in Phoenix and Talent, Oregon were burned or destroyed in the 2020 Almeda Fire.
Erik Neumann
Hundreds of residences and businesses in Phoenix and Talent, Oregon were burned or destroyed in the 2020 Almeda Fire.

Every time we have a discussion about fires and fire relief on the Exchange—pretty much daily since September 9th—we get another set of names and links to organizations providing help to people who lost homes in the fires.

The lists of organizations and sites got scattered across several days' worth of web entries, and so we promised to create The Big List, a single web post that would include everything we heard on-air, and even a few that didn't get that far. We can't vouch for programs or links still being active, but we did take out items that are obviously out of date. Here goes:

From Friday, September 25th:

  • Rogue Food Unites brings together Jackson County restaurants and farms to provide finished meals made with local food to families in need.

From Friday, September 18th:

  • For immediate needs, the Red Cross is recommended by federal agencies, including FEMA: https://www.redcross.org/about-us/our-work/disaster-relief.html
  • Apply for FEMA help, even if you got nothing more than some smoke damage, FEMA will sort out eligibility. Apply at:
  • HUD has several housing programs that could help people who've lost homes:
    • FHA Mortgages 800-CALL-FHA (800-225-5342)
    • Fire Damage: Vanessa in Portland office 971-222-2603
    • Other assistance: Julian in Portland 971-222-2600
  • If you need to replace Oregon driver's license and other documents: DMV2U.Oregon.gov
  • Ashland Disaster Assistance Line: 541-552-2500 or ashlandresponse@ashland.or.us
  • United Ways of the Pacific Northwest banding together for fire relief efforts: https://www.uwpnw.org/wildfire
  • United Way Fire Fund in Jackson County

Also, the FBI office in Portland warns to be wary of people offering to help with either post-fire needs or COVID-19 tracking/tracing. FBI urges us to consider before parting with personal information. Here are some basic recommendations:

  • Take a breath. Emotions run high in disaster, so don't accept a contact or click on a link in an email without thinking about it first.
  • Stick with familiar charities. If you haven't heard of it, it could be bogus. If you want to give, research the charity outside of any contacts you've received.
  • If people request social security numbers or bank account information, stop.
  • Avoid charities that insist upon cash or gift cards or virtual currency or wire transfers.
  • Designate where you want the money to go; reputable charities often have multiple funds for specific programs.

From Thursday, September 17th:

The Medford district opened a Rogue Valley Emotional Wellness Hotline.

We got a bunch of phone numbers:

  • Rogue Valley Emotional Wellness Hotline (English, M-F 8A-4P): 541-842-3643
  • Same hotline, for Spanish speakers (M-F 10A-2P): 541-842-3644
  • All-hours Jackson County Crisis Hotline: 541-774-8201
  • SAMHSA National Disaster Distress Hotline: 800-985-5990
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

And Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, DEQ, does not recommend handling burned-home cleanup yourself. The link goes to after-the-fire advice.

From Wednesday, September 16th:

  • If you need a prescription filled and do not have your meds with you, you can go to your pharmacy for an emergency 30-day prescription. If your pharmacy is not open, you can go to a pharmacy in the same chain. If all else fails, email: oha.pharmacy@state.or.us Oregon Health Plan recipients in the Rogue Valley can call AllCare at 541-471-4106 or Jackson Care Connect at 503-416-4100

From Tuesday, September 15th:

  • To update your voter registration in Oregon with your temporary address, if you've had to move: Oregonvotes.gov ...click on My Vote.
  • Contact Jackson County clerk: 541-774-6181 or elections@jacksoncounty.org
  • Breathing in the bad air: N95 or KN95 mask out of doors… indoors, attach MERV-13 Filter
  • ACCESS is collaborating with community partners to help distribute resources and provide a place for donations in Jackson County. For a full list of updates and resources please visit accesshelps.org.

From Monday, September 14th:

  • Many MANY services in one place on the Almeda Fire Mutual Aid Spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1bMlKA19-JPenGF3tYJ9NJ5HZyMo6XlndIkBPKUb0LsI/edit#gid=0
  • Volunteer in Talent: talentvolunteers@gmail.com
  • Oregon Shakespeare Festival Drop-off and Pick-up at Carpenter Hall and courtyard of the Elizabethan Theatre 9 AM-8 PM. OSF Donation Center Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/2643931399194388 or Call 541-601-7122
  • Volunteers needed to staff the Jackson County Call Center 541-776-7338 – four hour shifts, training and equipment provided
  • Rogue Action Center/Rogue Climate/SO Equity household goods pick-up/drop-off: Water bottles, containers, hand sanitizer, masks, brand-new underwear, brand-new socks
    • 770 Faith Avenue, Ashland
    • Living Waters Church, 360 E Jackson St, Medford
    • Carpenter Hall, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Ashland
    • Parking lot, Home Depot Phoenix
    • Talent Maker City
    • Hawthorne Park, Medford

If you don’t find what you need, ask and volunteers will work to get it.

  • Centralized place for people to donate: Rogue Valley Relief Fund – McKenzie River Gathering Foundation (MRG) -- https://www.mrgfoundation.org/rogue-valley-relief-fund1/ Goal is $500,000, already have $10,000 Bit.ly/rvfirerelief
  • El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant—taking cash or gift card donations for Latino population – See Janet or Yohada at the Restaurant, Highway 99 in North Ashland – Diapers and wipes and baby shoes – Ashland High School, too. 541-488-2276
  • Your property tax assessment falls if your house burns down. County assessors remind owners of burned homes to apply for relief.

From Friday, September 11th:

From Thursday, September 10th:

If you need help:

  • Maslow Project based in Medford helps families with children in school deal with life without a permanent home. 541-608-6868.
  • Ashland Emergency Food Bank offers no-means-test food assistance at 560 Clover Lane, Ashland, weekdays 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM. 541-488-9544.

To give help:

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.