Companies volunteer to save house

Will work to keep home from falling into Atascadero Creek

ATASCADERO — Thanks to the generosity of two local companies, Atascadero residents John and Erna Shaydak could soon be able to move back into their home, which is in danger of falling into Atascadero Creek.

Heavy rains over the past couple of months sent water roaring down Atascadero Creek, wearing away the banks near the Shaydaks’ home on Ensenada Avenue, leading to the structure being red-tagged by officials out of worry that it could become structurally unsound or fall into the creek.

At a meeting of the Atascadero City Council on Feb. 28, City Manager Rachelle Rickard announced that two local companies — Michael Fredricks Paving and Midcoast Geotechnical — had volunteered to provide the services and materials necessary to shore up the creek banks and make the home safe to occupy again.

“Two generous and civic-minded Atascadero business owners stepped forward and offered to remedy the creek bank erosion in order to allow the owners to move back into their home,” Rickard said.

According to Rickard, Michael Fredricks Paving Corporation will be providing the labor, equipment and materials needed for the project and Midcoast Geotechnical will be overseeing the construction and will test the materials to make sure the property is safe. The services offered are valued at more than $50,000.

The donation was just the latest addition to the effort to help the local couple. When the Shaydaks had to be evacuated from the home, volunteers from the police and fire departments, probation officers, city staff and other local volunteers came together to help them move, the Atascadero Mutual Water Company provided free storage space for their belongings, Clay Septic provided free services and the American Red Cross provided housing relief. City officials also helped to expedite the necessary permits from The Department of Fish of Wildlife and the Army Corps of Engineers. 

“This is why I love living in Atascadero,” Rickard said. “Atascadero is a terrific community with wonderful people who stand up and step in when they see someone in need and we’re very grateful to everyone who’s volunteered to help out.”

Dana Holland, a friend of the Shaydaks, spoke at the meeting and said that the couple was ecstatic when they found out about the donation.

“When he heard that he would possibly be able to move back into his house, he darn near came to tears,” Holland said. “When they heard about the possibility of being able to return to their house, they were just overwhelmed and very, very appreciative.”

The Shaydaks’ grandson Brandon White has set up an account on the crowd funding website and is trying to raise $100,000 to help his grandparents. As of press time Thursday, the effort had raised a total of $3,537.

“I have set the goal at $100,000, but honestly, I really have no idea how much money this catastrophe is going to take to deal with,” White wrote on the fundraising page. “I cannot describe how much it would mean to my entire family if we were to meet, and indeed, exceed the goal I created to help my grandparents. As you may have guessed, we will need the money as soon as possible, for my grandmother is on oxygen almost 24 hours a day and this entire ordeal has left her health in a precarious position. So please donate anything you can, be it 10 cents or $100.”

You can contribute to the fund by visiting

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