5 years later, North Bay wildfire survivors hope to return home as new housing project breaks ground

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Friday, May 6, 2022
NB wildfire survivors find hope in new affordable housing project
Tubbs Fire survivors look forward to returning home as new housing project breaks ground at site of Journey's End Mobile Home Park.

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- A milestone in the North Bay, where a new affordable senior housing project is taking shape on the same site where a former mobile home park was destroyed by wildfires in 2017.

Many residents of the Journey's End Mobile Home Park are now hoping to return home.

"I loved Journey's End, no two ways about it," said Linda Adrain.

Adrain spent 25 years of her life at the Journey's End Mobile Home Park until a monster wildfire changed everything one night in October 2017.

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"The park was on fire when I left, burning. I drove by burning palm trees. It was probably the worst night of my life," said Adrain.

The Tubbs Fire destroyed most of Journey's End.

Two residents lost their lives. 3,000 homes burned across Santa Rosa.

Now, the park is finally being redeveloped.

"You can actually see where folks will live one day," said Efran Carrillo.

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Carrillo works for Burbank Housing, the nonprofit agency leading the project to build 260 market-rate apartments and 160 affordable units for seniors, many of who once called these 13 acres home.

"The intent, for those who were burned out from homes to have the opportunity to move back, we've heard from a dozen waiting for the moment to come back... that's what makes this so special," Carrillo said.

The city says the former Journey's End project is the largest post-wildfire redevelopment in five years.

"Having this new construction Is a sign of recovery and affordable housing for the senior community," said Megan Basinger from Santa Rosa's Housing and Community Services.

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Agencies worked with Journey's End owners on a plan to help former residents and others return.

"Not only are we providing recovery... it's an opportunity for displaced residents to return to the place they once called home," said Carrillo.

For Linda, it's a second chance to return to the place she loved and be reunited with old friends and neighbors.

"When I get there and move in, it will be full circle, I want them to get it done tomorrow," she added.

The project is scheduled for completion in summer 2023.

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