Monday, November 5, 2007

No help for some victims

Posted @ 11:24 AM

"It's hopeless," declared Heather Frost after she left the Rancho Bernardo Assistance Center Monday (11/5) morning.

At the center filled with federal, state and local officials and volunteers galore she found no help for her situation, though she's a victim of the wildfires.

Frost was forced to evacuate for days when fire hit her home near Rancho Bernardo but felt lucky when her place was spared. "Everything's just smelly," she says.

But for her disaster hit this weekend when rent was due. Because of fire she couldn't work for nearly two weeks at Hernandez Hideaway, the venerable restaurant overlooking Lake Hodges in the hard-hit rural Del Dios community by Escondido. While the restaurant was saved it took days to clean out soot, repaint, restock all the food that had been ruined and reopen.
That cost her a quarter of her income, she says, and though she got back to work last week she's struggling to buy groceries. When she looked at her budget for the next three months she realized that the debt bubble was going to swallow her entire holiday. She was hoping one of the agencies could help with that gap caused by lost wages, but she said she was told there wasn't.

"Everything gets pushed off to the next month. It's not a good time to have this happen right before Christmas," Frost said.

- Lisa Petrillo, staff writer

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