Fire Creates Huge Need for Local Families

By: Rachel Alig Email
By: Rachel Alig Email

The fire at Village Apartments destroyed an entire building. Seven families, twenty people in all, were left with nothing but the shirts on their backs.

Those families are still getting help, but they have a long way to go to get back on their feet.

Charlotte Smith and her three children are one of the families who lost everything in the fire. This tragic time in her life is challenging as she prepares for the rebuilding process.

"It's hard. Starting over fresh, after losing everything and nowhere to stay. It's hard," Smith said.

Staff at Multi-County Community Service Agency are helping Smith's family and 6 others during this difficult time. MCCSA has housed the families in hotels for 5 nights and have extended the stay.

Letha Dunn, MCCSA's program director, says the agency wants to get these families back to a good start.

"We're going to work as much as we can to try to get them out of this crisis situation and lift their financial burdens to get them stable," Dunn said.

MCCSA has also provided the families with gift certificates to Wal-Mart for basic needs. But the main priority for Multi-County is finding these families shelter.

"The biggest need right now is housing," said Dunn.

Dunn says finding housing for 7 different families has not been an easy task. She says availability is hard to come by.

"Right now, you just try to find something that is available that they can afford," said Dunn.

As Multi-County continues the search for proper housing, Smith and other families continue to deal with stress.

"I don't eat much," said Smith. "I don't get much sleep. I still break down."

If you'd like to help any of the families, you may bring items to Multi-County Community Service Agency, 2900 St. Paul Street, or the staff will put you in direct contact with the families.

Another way you can help these families, and the victims of other fires in this area, is by making a donation to the Key Chapter of the American Red Cross. For more information, you may call the Red Cross at 601-485-5151.

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