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Saturday, 23 January 2021

Spanish speaking only Camp Fire survivors face recovery barriers

Credit: KHSL
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Spanish speaking only Camp Fire survivors face recovery barriers
Spanish speaking only Camp Fire survivors face recovery barriers

Camp Fire survivors who don't speak English are having a hard time getting help.

Action News Now spoke to one such survivor and shows us her struggle and who's stepping up to help.

Morning... camp fire survivors who don't speak english are having a hard time getting help.

Action news now reporter jafet serrato spoke to one such survivor and shows us her struggle and who's stepping up to help.

The non profit "california hope" has more than 30 people working to get help to those camp fire survivors.

Gallegos: i don't have much, but i have it thanks to the people who helped me meet maria carmen gallegos... she's a camp fire survivor... and only speaks spanish.

Gallegos: i've gone through rough times.

I've had so many feelings that i couldn't comprehend" so she turned to alejandra melgarejo and bianka norton... they work for california hope of butte county.

(nats keyboard typing) they help people like maria with translating applications online for free melgarejo: " we're mobile so we meet people wherever they're comfortable meeting whether that's in the park, their house, a coffee shop" norton: "we've educated her a lot on mental health and what healthy mental habits are" melgarejo: "one of the difficulties is the language barrier.

A lot of the resources out there are pretty much in english" alejandra says applications for the wildfire assistance program and the 211 intake form are only in english.

Melgarejo: "i feel like a lot of people didn't know how big the community is so they gear more of the applications resources in english because they probably didn't see the need to translate in spanish" sullivan-hanes: "211 has actually helped numerous spanish speaking fire survivors fill out that online intake form over the phone" without alejandra and bianka... maria says she'd be lost.

Norton: "she tells me all the time everytime she sees us she'll hug she'' tell us thank you so much" marie now lives in chico... she hopes one day she can move back to paradise.

Gallegos: "it was a beautiful town, hopefully it can recover its beauty" california hope is state funded.

Tara with 211 says they are partners with california hope and are looking into maybe fixing that application.

Live in.... jafet serrato action news now coverage you can count on!

Alejandra and bianka say they have helped more than 100 people since june.

The women say they will continue to help camp fire survivors through at least february of next year... that's how long they're funded for this program.

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