Build Hope for Paradise

Posted by Mark Montgomery | November 08, 2020

In the days following the Camp Fire, we all shared an unfathomably deep level of despair and uncertainty for the future. On this day of the fire's second anniversary, those feelings still weigh quite heavily on our hearts as we reflect on the fact that our community still has many unmet needs. Many people are still in case management. Many people are still struggling to rebuild their lives. Two years later, our community still hurts.

The despair, the difficulty, the pain on the toughest of days, these tease at the cracks of our recovery, but they will not keep us from our purpose of restoring our community.

Hope, strength, community, these things have always existed for Paradise and our community. Sometimes the right moment is needed to reveal that our future holds so many more great things to come. On this day of remembrance, knowing that there is still so much more work to be done, we hope you find a moment or two to feel joy in the progress made. We hope you can look around and see that we have incredible strength in our community. We hope you can also envision a more vital Paradise, a place where many can call home again.

Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) is proud to be part of the future of Paradise. From the beginning, we have worked tirelessly to rebuild Paradise Community Village, our 36-unit affordable housing community. On October 22, we held our Rebuilding Ceremony, marking the start of reconstruction. Reaching that moment was not without its challenges. The North Complex Fire delayed our ceremony, a reminder of unplanned difficulties. And you may have heard about our dilemma with the IRS to extend our construction deadline to avoid triggering millions in fees, a reminder of uphill battles we must fight. Despite these things, the ceremony allowed us to revel in a moment of joy and to look to the future.

As we stood on the foundation of the unbuilt community room, we could envision the families who will return and the generations to come who will put their roots down in Paradise. The ceremony reminded us that there was hope that we could rebuild. There was a strength that we can overcome the obstacles we face. There was community: friends, supporters, partners, both new and old, and near and far.

Like so many others working so hard to rebuild, we believe that no obstacle will keep us from our mission of restoring much-needed affordable housing to the region. On this the second anniversary of the Camp Fire, we invite you to join us to build hope for Paradise and beyond so that we may stand together on stronger foundations for our future.