The Shaw Family: Rising Above the Waters

Editor’s note: A version of this story appears in the November 2022 LIFTT Connection Newsletter. You can download the newsletter here (Adobe PDF) 

LIFTT’s Kimbrough Fund helps Shaw Family after June Floods 

On June 12, 2022, due to snow melt and heavy rains, the Rock Creek and the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River overflowed, causing property and infrastructure damage in Carbon County. Among the destroyed houses is one located in Fromberg, belonging to the Shaw family all of whom have disabilities: the mother Rebecca has Environmental Sensitivity, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Depression, Anxiety/Panic Attacks, and Bi-Polar Disorder. While the father Robert and sons Nathan, Asher, and David are all on the autism spectrum.

The Shaws lost almost everything and came to LIFTT for assistance. John Robison, Independent Living (IL) Specialist & Outreach Coordinator, was assigned the case. He diligently worked with The Montana  Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), Carbon County Public heath the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the LDS Family Services, local churches, and Fromberg High School.

The flood inundated their basement, and the house became uninhabitable, forcing the Shaws to spend two days at the Fromberg High School. After the waters receded, they returned to their property, where they lived temporarily in a small utility trailer without running water, heat, and refrigeration.

Using funds from the Jackie Kimbrough Emergency Fund, LIFTT was able to assist the Shaw Family. Among other things, LIFTT paid for the repair of their vehicle, a Chevy Suburban allowing them to bring, from out of state, a bigger camper-style trailer to their Fromberg property.

The Shaws are currently living in the camper trailer. After completion of the reconstruction of the house, before Winter 2022-2023, they will be able to move back in. The Shaw family is grateful to FEMA and Carbon County for their assistance in reconstructing their home.

This disaster affected the whole Shaw family, causing not only disruption but trauma. However, parents and children took advantage of this experience to grow, access valuable resources, and preserve their independence. They are together, soon will move back into their home, and move forward toward their future. LIFTT and the other organizations will continue to partner with the Shaws to help them rebuild their lives.

About Living Independently for Today & Tomorrow (LIFTT): LIFTT is a Montana 501(c)3 corporation organized as a Center for Independent Living (CIL). With team members based in Billings, Glendive, and Red Lodge, LIFTT provides people with disabilities with programs and services that help empower them to break down the physical, bureaucratic, and cultural barriers that prevent them from being fully independent participants in their lives and communities throughout 18 counties in southeastern and southcentral Montana: Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, Golden Valley, McCone, Musselshell, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Stillwater, Wibaux, and Yellowstone. For more information, please visit or download our mobile app on Apple or Google Play. You can donate to LIFTT by clicking here.