Tahoe Youth & Family Services works through fire

Evacuees pass through Stateline ahead of the Caldor Fire in this Aug. 31 photo.

Evacuees pass through Stateline ahead of the Caldor Fire in this Aug. 31 photo.
Bill Rozak | Tahoe Daily Tribune


Through the smoke and ash, Tahoe Youth & Family Services Executive Director Karen Carey found herself traveling up Kingsbury Grade to retrieve important documents and items from Tahoe TYFS South Lake Tahoe office as evacuations began.

“It was a strange feeling as my car climbed the mountain toward Tahoe while there was a steady stream of traffic coming down the mountain,” she said. “As I looked to the Valley, it was almost invisible due to a thick plume of smoke.”

Carey said it took an hour and 40 minutes to return to Gardnerville.

“Traffic was gridlocked but law enforcement was directing traffic at every signal,” she said. “Thanks to the South Lake Tahoe Police Chief and board member David Stevenson, and advisory council member South Lake Tahoe Fire Chief Clive Savacool and the many volunteers who did a fantastic job getting everyone evacuated safely.”

Carey thanked everyone who has reached out to help out during the fire.

“We definitely live in challenging times but we must stay positive, which is not always easy,” Carey said. “When disasters happen, I always find myself amazed at how so many people reach out to help their neighbors and this is definitely happening now.”

September is National Recovery month for those facing substance abuse and mental health challenges.

“Tahoe Youth & Family is celebrating those individuals and realize that during these challenging times the fires and COVID makes recovery even more challenging,” she said. “If you know someone in recovery, please reach out and provide them words of encouragement.

Carey said the organization is here to help those in need by providing mental health counseling and treatment for substance abuse services.

“We are starting several new groups to support our community during these difficult times,” she said. “Please consider attending one of our groups.”

Groups include:

• Teen Support Group which meets every Monday after school.

• Teen Substance Abuse group which will start on Sept. 23.

• TYFS also wants to support our local sheriffs by offering a support group which will start Sept. 21.

For details on all groups, contact the Gardnerville office for at 775-782-4202.

Individual counseling is also available.

“We can provide telehealth or in-person counseling,” she said. “Help is only a phone call away.”


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