PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A Clackamas County family who lost their home in the 2020 Riverside Fire held an event Tuesday to celebrate the new home they received from the Clackamas County Long Term Recovery Group. 

The James family lived in a camper and stayed with relatives in the months after they lost almost everything in the fire. 

A crowd gathered at Shila James’ new home in Clackamas County on Aug. 23, 2022. James lost her home in the Riverbend fire in 2020 and received this home thanks to the Clackamas County Long Term Recovery Group. Photo courtesy Kimberlee Ables, CCLTRG

“We’ve been bouncing around a lot and we’re just really grateful. It’s probably going to be winter before we really realize that hey, this is our house. We have a house,” Shila James, the homeowner, said at the event.  

She said it hasn’t sunk in yet. 

Her family first moved to the property in the 1800s when they fled Poland. James has an 11-year-old daughter and shares her home with children in foster care. 

James leads a homeschool program and said the house will be a valuable space for teaching her daughter and other children. 

The James family and the Clackamas County Long Term Recovery Group said they’re thankful for all the help they received from volunteers in building the house and those who gave thousands of dollars in donations.