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Local builder, volunteers build tiny homes for Camp Fire victims

OROVILLE — Volunteers from Sewa International joined local builder Alyssa Nolan to build tiny homes for victims of the Camp Fire on Sunday.
Nolan, who lost her home in the Butte Lightning Complex fires in 2008, began building the tiny homes in January.
“I got burned out from Concow in 2008 so I totally know what it is,” Nolan said. “When the fire happened i gave food, clothes and money and I just thought, ‘Lord, I really could do more.'” Related Articles





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After reaching out to her network, the owner of the land at 1790 Montgomery St. in Oroville told Nolan she could build on that property.
Nolan said she works nights and most weekend but still finds time to build during the week. People have come from as far as Placerville to help with the building.
“I come out here almost 40 hours a week Tuesday through Friday whether people are here or not.
In 2016, Nolan was named social entrepreneur of the year at Chico State for a different housing venture and used her knowledge to begin building tiny homes. Since January, Nolan said she has completed two homes that will be donated to single parents.
“That’s a single mom that got burned out from Concow,” Nolan said. “This is for a single dad. He has an 8-year-old developmentally disabled son.They were living at the fairgrounds and now they’re at the Torres Shelter just waiting for it.”
Funding for the tiny homes began by using GoFundMe pages. Others, like Scott from High-Hand Nursery in Loomis has helped fund some of the building as well, Nolan said.
Building of the third tiny home began Sunday with a group of 25 volunteers from the Bay Area chapter of Sewa International.
Sewa International is a nonprofit volunteer organization that helps those in the time of need after disaster hits anywhere in the world, said Guru Prasad, coordinator of the Sewa Bay Area chapter.
Abhishek Mishra (left) works with Rohan Patil, Suresh Patil, Shivani Patil and Alyssa Nolan when members of Sewa International came to Oroville to help build a tiny home for a victim of the Camp Fire on Sunday. (Kayla Fitzgerald — Enterprise-Record)
“Our team is trying to see how we can help. Sewa does it in three ways. Relief, rehabilitate and rebuild,” Prasad said.
Prasad said the funding comes from donations, corporate sponsors and grants. Sewa is funding and helping build the third tiny house, but the organization hopes to be able to help build more in the future by bringing more volunteers and more funds.
“Being empathetic and giving back is something that is very important. It really feels good that we are able to help somebody,” Prasad said.

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