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Military Family Home Destroyed by Earthquake

$8,315 of $289,000 goal

Raised by 125 people in 3 months
On November 30, 2018 a 7.0 earthquake wreaked havoc on Alaskans in the Anchorage area. For us, it took away our home where we planned to raise our children after my husband’s military service.

We were stationed at JBER in 2012. After a year living in Alaska we fell in love with the state and knew we wanted to live there permanently. We had used our VA loan to purchase our house in Eagle River and got to stay there a few more years until it was time for our next duty station. Since we are currently station in Fort Bragg, NC  we had our home rented out through a property management company. Considered a rental property our home was not used for monetary gain but as a way to secure our future. It is hard owning a home when you move across the nation every few years. Yet, it always gave us joy knowing that we had a place to go after my husband’s service.

Our home was not the newest house on the block but it had characteristics that we loved. The beautiful two story home was located at the end of a cul-de-sac where we knew our kids could play safely outside without the fear of traffic. The living room had long windows covering the front wall letting it fill with natural light. The upper deck made you feel like you were in a tree house because of the large pine trees growing in the backyard. The attached garage made unloading groceries a breeze, especially when you wanted to avoid the cold winter air. It is hard to believe that we will never live in that house again.

Luckily no one was hurt when the earthquake hit. My heart goes out to the renters and for the possessions they have loss. We were told the house was declared 100 percent destroyed. Our home split in half and fell almost an entire story down when a possible sinkhole developed underneath it. We are still waiting for the official report.

My husband’s intention for a safe place to call our home has buried him under our remaining $289,000 loan when the insurance company denied our claim. We were confident that we were covered for earthquakes but through some miscommunication we were not. At this point rebuilding is not even possible. We are currently looking into all our options for any relief. Our financial future is uncertain.
However, this is not the end for us and I know my husband will always find a way to put clothes on our back, food on the table, and a roof over our heads. Any generosity would alleviate the burden this natural disaster has put on our shoulders. At this time money raised will go to our monthly mortgage that will continue to come until the loan is paid. Updates will be given as we learn more. Please share our story and thank you for your support.

* Check the updates for our current status*

*NEW* There is a new way you can donate.
1. donate using GoFundMe (But they charge for withdraws!  Payment processing is 2.9% + $0.30 per donation)
or
2. donate directly to our bank account (100% free).  Use ZELLE with your bank’s mobile app. Just use my name and email (daricharkless@gmail.com) as the recipient. *I'll write more details about zelle in my 6th update.



35076292_1544467528590121_r.jpeg                     Before and After Photos
35076292_1544467555707826_r.jpeg
35076292_1544467620645872_r.jpegPictured above is the front door sitting lower than the steps
35076292_1544467670510430_r.jpeg35076292_1544467767794879_r.jpegCorner of house where the garage sank
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We officially applied for FEMA on February 1. We talked with two separate FEMA representatives and they both said we will be denied for individual assistance because we did not live in the home and that we should apply as a business. We weren't surprised since that was exactly why we were denied for the Individual State Disaster Assistance. The only problem I have with applying for business is there are no grants. We will mostly likely be referred to SBA for a loan. We need a loan so we can rebuild but I wish we could have funding for at least the demolition. Really hoping for some good news with FEMA.

While we were waiting for FEMA we've been looking for advice and information on what we should do and where we could find other funding.

We currently have a lawyer looking into our insurance claim. Its currently just a free consult but we've been busy trying to gather all our documentation for him to look through. The hope is he will be able to find something that we can get money for.

Since Ft. Bragg legal assistance had no advice on our situation we called the JBER legal assistance in Alaska. The lawyer there actually had advice and recommended sources. To some up what he said there will be no grants for us, a SBA loan will help with a rebuild, getting a lawyer to look at our insurance claim is a good idea, and we shouldn't ever have to file bankruptcy because of the VA loan guarantee. Not really new information but it gave us clarity.

We are also writing a letter to the governor of Alaska requesting to have an exception to the State's disaster assistance program qualifications for Alaska residents who are out-of-state due to military orders for financial aid by recognizing the legal residence as the primary residence damaged in the earthquake. Again the hope is to find any funding.

Thanks again for all those who are supporting us in this long journey.
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We finally had our home inspected. We are not surprised by the news. Our home can not be saved. The back foundation crumpled tearing the house off from the foundation's front. We were told it will have to be demolished which I know is not going to be cheap. I've been told it could cost $40,000-$60,000 just to tear it down. Rebuilding will have to be a new construction. We are looking into available loans to see what's possible which currently isn't looking very promising. We still have no financial aid and are still constantly looking. Even with all this bad news we are still remaining hopeful. Praying our luck will start changing for the better.
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Not much to update. We are STILL waiting on our home’s inspection. We only have the municipality’s report giving us the red tag stating the home is unsafe. FEMA is still not accepting applications. Our search for financial aid is still on going with no luck so far. The on base legal services cannot help us. Therefore, we are looking for a civilian lawyer to take a look at our insurance policy. We contacted Army Emergency Relief but was told our situation was “too big” for assistance. Since we haven’t found any aid we have also been brainstorming ideas how to personally save money and to bring in extra income. We have been staying positive about everything and still hope to rebuild. Now that the holidays are over we are hoping that our progress starts moving faster. Thank you once again for everyone’s support.
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We are still waiting for FEMA to open and for our house inspection. A supporter was nice enough to go take photos of the house for us so we can better see the damage. I can only put a few photos on GoFundMe so I'll have more on Harkless Eagle River Home Facebook page. Thank you as always for everyone's support so far.
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$8,315 of $289,000 goal

Raised by 125 people in 3 months
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