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In 2020, a multitude of tragedies multiplied like the creases of a crumpled sheet of paper — COVID-19, the Almeda Fire, homelessness — and then social programs began buckling under the pressure.

“Our family fell through the cracks — there was a gap,” said Audrey, a single mother who lost her home to the Almeda Fire and became trapped in the creases of that crumpled page.

Over the past two years, Audrey, a victim of domestic violence who asked that her last name not be used, lived like a true mama bear, always moving and permanently vigilant as she took her babies in and out of different kinds of wilderness: shelters, couch-surfing and campsites.

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