Thirty displaced wildfire survivors from the Bastrop Complex Fire in 2011 will get new homes this year, now that the American Red Cross of Central Texas has kicked in $1.5 million to buy construction materials.
“It means we will finish the job we started,” said Christine Files, president of the Bastrop Long Term Recovery Team. “From a personal standpoint, the weight of the world has just been lifted off our shoulders. We have this dream budget of building 30 more homes but we didn’t know where the money was coming from. Help has always come when we needed it the most, and we thank the American Red Cross.”
The grant was announced Tuesday at the team ‘s “Tribute to Recovery” fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort.
Files said the new grant is earmarked for building materials. She said materials for a two-bedroom home cost about $40,000 and $47,000 for a three-bedroom home. Mennonite Disaster Service and Christian Aid Ministries volunteers will build the homes for free.
“For the people of Bastrop Counnty, the disaster didn’t end when the fires were put out,” said Marty McKellips, Red Cross regional chief executive officer, in a press release. “We are committed to empowering the community throughout its long term recovery process and preparing the area for future disasters.”
The recovery team is the last stop for the neediest of wildfire survivors who were either uninsured and under insured. Files said the team is getting close to finding the last of people who need help. The recovery team has rebuilt 79 homes throughout the county.
Files expects to finish building the last of the homes in May 2014. “But if there is anyone out there still struggling to get a place, come see us as soon as possible,” she said. Go to www.bcltrt.org or call 512-321-2868.