SHBA partners with Hayden Homes, NAHB to raise money to help those who lost homes in Gray and Oregon Road fires
In case you missed it, SHBA, in partnership with Hayden Homes held a press conference on Jan. 10 at the Ruby River Hotel to announce and present a $77,400 gift to the newly created Spokane Region Long Term Recovery Group, which is devoted to supporting families on the West Plains and in north Spokane County impacted by last year’s devastating wildfires.
The funds were raised as part of a major community fundraising effort led by SHBA in the fall of 2023.
Senior community leaders including Spokane County Commissioner Josh Kerns, Spokane County Commissioner Al French, and Medical Lake Mayor Terri Cooper will join the press conference. Mayor Cooper, who is the chair of the new SRLTRG, will discuss ongoing recovery work and share an update on disaster recovery with the community.
Now a stand-alone nonprofit and with a newly launched website, the SRLTRG brings together both community and faith-based organizations to address critical unmet needs facing those impacted by the wildfire, especially those who lost their homes.
“This major gift from SHBA, Hayden Homes, NAHB and other partners comes at an absolutely critical time for the recovery effort. These resources will go directly toward serving families who lost everything and we could not be more grateful,” said Mayor Cooper.
On Aug. 18, 2023, as temperatures climbed and humidity levels plummeted, strong winds stoked a wildfire near Medical Lake. Dubbed the Gray Fire, the fast-moving blaze burned more than 10,000 acres on the West Plains and destroyed 240 homes and nearly 100 other structures. Meanwhile, more than 40 miles to the northeast, another wildfire ignited near Elk, Washington. The Oregon Road Fire burned roughly 11,000 acres in Spokane and Pend Oreille counties and destroyed more than 400 structures, including 126 homes. The Gray and Oregon Road fires were among the most devastating in Washington history, causing a combined loss of $166 million in assessed property value and leaving hundreds of people homeless.
“A number of our SHBA members came together and said, ‘Homes are so important. How can we help these families who lost their homes to rebuild and recover after this disaster?’,” said Joel White, executive director of SHBA. “The answer was right there – let’s pull together and see if we can make a major contribution to the long-term recovery effort. I’m so proud of our members and partners for helping us make this contribution.”
This past fall, SHBA created the Spokane Wildfire Disaster Relief Fund to help community members rebuild. Hayden Homes and the NAHB each pledged to contribute $25,000 matches if SHBA could raise $25,000 from the public. SHBA members and the general public donated $12,900. Jason Ramey, owner of Ramey Construction, saw many of his neighbors impacted by the fire and donated more than $12,000. Green Bluff grower Siemers Farms also contributed $2,500 collected during the annual Harvest Festival. The public support triggered the matching funds, which NAHB and Hayden Homes are proud to provide.
“Hayden Homes exists to Give As You Go™ so together we build a strong community and lead fulfilled lives,” said Ben McGerty, regional director for Hayden Homes. “This gift to the long-term recovery effort is our way of saying we understand how important home is. We are all grateful to support our neighbors to rebuild and heal after these devastating fires.”
Click HERE to read the Spokesman Review story.
Click HERE to see KXLY's story.