Displaced Alta Lake family still searching for home - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Displaced Alta Lake family still searching for home

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ALTA LAKE, Wash. -  The Gray family never felt squeezed into their 4 bedroom, two-story home Alta Lake home. It comfortably housed the parents and their six kids. Sadly, when their rental burned down, this family was left searching for a next step. 

Six weeks after the Carlton Complex fire devastated communities around Okanogan County, including Alta lake where it destroyed about two thirds of the homes, many of the displaced are still in need of housing. According to a Pateros official, the county only had about a 1 percent vacancy before the fire, so one of the big issues has been short- and long-term housing for the victims.

The Gray family has been living at their church since the fire. They have a donated mobile home, and the children sleep on mattresses inside the church. 

“We still have no prospects of where to go,” Brian Gray told KHQ. 

“Everytime we hear about a rental, it's already gone,” his wife Michelle added.

They say their children are sick of living out of a suitcase, waiting for a new home.

“We've never experienced anything like this,” Brian Gray said.

Their family has also responded. The Grays told us about their 13-year-old son, Dale, who has worked odd jobs for years, just to earn a little cash. When we met up with him, it was his first time back in Alta Lake. He was weeding for a neighbor whose home survived.

“It's sad because it looked pretty nice before,” Dale Gray said. “Now it's kind of different.”

But this family, like so many doesn't want to leave Okanogan County.

"This is where we decided to make our home, so we feel like this is where we should be,” Brian Gray told KHQ.

But for Dale, he can't escape the sadness of seeing what's left of his beloved Alta Lake.

“It makes me think about everything I lost.” 

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