By Tim Rasmussen, Stevens County Prosecutor
Stevens County has again been tragically affected by wildfires. With the recent Ford Corkscrew Fire devouring at least 30 homes and more than 15,000 acres, on August 16 the Board of Commissioners issued a Declaration of Emergency due to “numerous out-of-countrol wildfires” in the county. This paved the way for emergency actions to be taken, including bringing in more firefighting resources.
Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen and the Commissioners also found a way to provide temporary aid to the newly homeless by using the homelessness funds as they are intended.
“My recent experience has given me some knowledge of how homelessness money can and cannot be used,” Rasmussen said. “After spending some time on this, I reached the conclusion that it could be legally done within the homelessness program guidelines.”
Rasmussen discussed the idea with Commissioners Greg Young and Mark Burrows, and was invited to their meeting to propose the idea.
On Tuesday, August 24, Rasmussen went before the Stevens County Commissioners and, after a few questions, the Commissioners voted to make emergency aid available to those who are now homeless because of the fires.
According to Rasmussen: “The people who have been burned out are truly homeless and need our help. Helping each other is what we as a community can and should do. We are in this together. These are hard times, but by working together, we can get through this and through whatever comes our way.”
To apply for the homeless funds, an application can be obtained from and delivered to the Stevens County Commissioners office.
- One grant per home or household lost to the fire.
- Maximum assistance is $5000.
- To be used for emergency food, shelter and necessities of life.
- Any falsification will be prosecuted.
Homeless application is also available at https://southstevenscountytimes.com/download/homeless-application-due-to-displacement-by-wild-fires/. Submit to the Stevens County Commissioners at 215 S Oak St, Colville, WA 99114. Questions? Please call the BOCC at (509) 684-3751.