Some fire victims still looking for permanent homes

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Several families affected by the Woodcliff Apartment fire are still without a permanent roof over their heads just over a week after the fire. 17 families were displaced when the fire destroyed their building.

Nonprofits met with families last week who were displaced in the apartment fire for a community resource meeting. They met to focus on making sure families were stabilized over the Thanksgiving weekend. Now, they are looking toward long-term solutions.

Six of the families affected by the fire have been placed in long-term housing while nine families are still trying to find a new place to live.

“They will receive some assistance with their first month’s rent as well as their utility deposits,” says Susan Cooper.

Susan Cooper with the Urban League says they are still helping the families transition.

“Our main goal and objective right now is helping the families to relocate and transition into a new place to live into long-term housing,” says Cooper

Coopers says the Woodcliff Apartments fire reminds of her last year’s MLK Apartment fire, which also happened before a holiday.

“What makes this a little easier this year is that we are more equipped and well prepared because of the MLK fire experience,” says Cooper.

Cooper says there has been an outpouring of love and giving from the community.

“People throughout the community are donating gift cards. They’re donating clothing and food and toiletry and bedding.,” says Cooper.

Steven Harris is one of the folks displaced by the fire. He attended last week’s community resource meeting and says he is thankful for all of the community’s support.

“That’s the main thing. Just be thankful and God bless you. Thanks a lot,” says Steven Harris.

Cooper hopes to have all of the families affected by the fire in permanent housing before Christmas.

There will be a concert to raise money to help families replace some of their belongings on New Years Day. The Martin Army Community Hospital on Fort Benning is also collecting donations. They will donate to the families this week.

Folks interested in donating can drop off non-perishable foods, toiletries and clothes at the Valley Rescue Mission.


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