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Salvation Army Yuba-Sutter Welcomes First Camp Fire Survivors Into New Temporary Housing

OLIVEHURST (CBS13) — Leila Eastman and her son said they've moved around a lot since the Camp Fire, but now they'll have a place to hang their hat for a good while.

"I haven't had my own room since the fire happened," Eastman said. "We just looked up and it was gone. We lost everything."

The family of four is the first to call the new temporary houses at the Hope Vista complex run by the Salvation Army Yuba-Sutter. The Salvation Army finished building the new eight fully-furnished 1,000 square foot homes for Camp Fire survivors in time to get families in before the holidays. The organization raised $1.4 million for the project.

"They're really happy about it. I'm thrilled. I don't even have words for it," Eastman said.

It was a moment that gave Eastman and her boys a sigh of relief.

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"It was very tiring to walk through the door it was just like, I dropped the weight, dropped the bags," Brett Lucas, Eastman's son, said.

Major Julius Murphy and the Salvation Army Yuba-Sutter said families can live at the homes for up to a year and a half while trying to find permanent housing. But, that will take even more time and more money.

"But will it happen overnight? I can guarantee you not. It takes time first to get the money but secondly get the developer, contractor and build the homes," Murphy said.

For now, they're home for the holidays with a tree that shines bright and gifts.

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"It definitely is the first time that it felt not so empty," Eastman said.

"I thought that this was the year where we weren't going to be able to celebrate any holiday because we weren't going to be able to afford or deal with it," Lucas said. "I thought we weren't able to get a tree. I thought that we were going to be in the car this Christmas."

Murphy told CBS13 that the families selected to move into the Hope Vista by the Camp Fire Long-Term Recovery Team. Eastman says she plans to look for permanent housing in the Yuba-Sutter area.

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