Why some Almeda Fire victims at risk of losing emergency housing

MEDFORD, Ore. — Some Almeda Fire victims are at risk of losing emergency housing next year.

As of Monday, the county says the Red Cross was housing 550 fire victims in 285 different hotel rooms throughout the valley.

That service will continue through December 31st.

After that date, Jackson County says it’s been given assurances additional assistance can be provided if people are not placed in housing.

Currently, the county says it doesn’t know who is going to do that or what that contract looks like.

But it will help people who are ineligible for other housing resources, such as undocumented immigrants.

The question still remains, how long will that contract last.

“When the assistance for folks that ends through Red Cross and whoever else the state has… to when new housing can be located for those who are not eligible… is a question mark. We don’t have a date when that is going to be a problem. But it’s going to be a problem at some point,” said John Vial, Jackson County roads & parks director.

After the back up program, Vial says the community will need to step up to help this vulnerable population.

In a statement Thursday afternoon to NBC5 News, the Red Cross said in part:

“ODHS is conducting planning now with counties to continue sheltering after the Red Cross discontinues its sheltering mission.”

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