Betty, Survivor

Betty, Survivor

Age at displacement: 2.5 years old

I was number 9 of 10 kids in my family. My father was a construction worker who along with many other men, built the city of Palm Springs. My mother was a stay-home mom.

My parents were one of the few families that were able to move to the North End as others began their journey to become homeowners. We were a close-knit community that raised our families as a village. What one needed, they all shared.
When the destruction began, I just remember people on the North End screaming that the reservation was on fire. My parents went out to see whom they could help out.
During this time of destruction, many of us who had obtained homes housed those who had lost their homes due to fire or bulldozing. Family members and nonfamily members were housed by my parents for days on end until they were able to find some form of shelter. The church building became shelter for parishioners also. We shared food, clothing, our home, and transportation.
The city of Palm Springs offered no assistance to those who were displaced and unprepared for such harsh conditions forced upon them. The families eventually found new homes or other family members in the nearby cities of Banning and Indio to house them. Because of this destructive situation, many were forced into creating a unity of these thee cities that remains strong to this day.