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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  • by triedofucomplaining on Apr 9, 2010 at 12:14 PM
    we all work hard for our money, be thankful you got a job, many people do not...if you are over the income limit, you are bless so what you need to do, is start a saving account do your own repairs.know when you are bless and stop complaining. working hard mean you work hard to get the things you want in life.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 9, 2010 at 09:46 AM
    'Whay happen to "I am my brother keeper" evidentally ITABOUTIME...has no heart, no love and lives a miserable life, the poor will be among us always, and if some of us make it out of poverty, thank Good, but some do not..just remember ITABOUTTIME..hard times come to all of us sometimes in our life, and when it comes to other, you need to thank God and pray for those who are hurting if not you need to sit by quietly and do nothing!!!
  • by Anonymous on Apr 9, 2010 at 05:34 AM
    I work hard for my living, sometime 12-16 hours 5-6 days a week and because I do Multi-County can't/won't do anything for me.Every time I try I make too much money.I need to weatherize my house with some new windows & insulation but I can't afford it & because I work so hard Multi County doesn't help me. Just know that we are not heartless,some of us are just exhausted.By the way, I have no big screen TV in my house & I want to be able to sleep late instead of getting up at five every morning. But it is not going to happen, at least not any time soon, maybe one day.Adults need to stand up and be adults. This is tragic but life is tragic & you move on.This nation was built on independence of thought & action & we have lost that.Neighbors still helped neighbors but no one expected someone else to carry their burden. Learn to take care of yourself, you may need to someday.
  • by itsabottime on Apr 8, 2010 at 07:01 PM
    im not being ugly,i plan for hard times,others should too.
  • by someone Location: somewhere on Apr 8, 2010 at 02:19 PM
    Poor planning,,no one plans to lose everything. The money they would pay for insurance could mean if they get to work for the month or not. Multi County has stepped up to the plate in helping those people. Where are the other community agencies that are supposed to help people in need?
  • by TO THE HEARTLESS PEOPLE on Apr 8, 2010 at 01:49 PM
    There are some things that can not be replaced... I cant believe we have such heartless people around here. When something happens and your whole life comes crumbling down around you just remember these cold hearted comments you made on here about these familys that have lost everything they own!!!!
  • by Anonymous on Apr 8, 2010 at 01:14 PM
    Renter's Insurance is generally very inexpensive.I know at least two of these families and they live totally off of my and your tax money, but I'm not sure who paid for the big screen TVs.Doesn't make it less hard but it does let you know that some better planning might have been a real benefit.
  • by shonda Location: meridian on Apr 8, 2010 at 12:06 PM
    this is for that stupid person, "itsabouttime". First of all how can you come on here saying the things you said about these people that has lost everything. They stayed in an apartment complex, and I don't know about this particular one,but most of them don't have fire insurance.That was very stupid of you to say that. Have a heart!!!!!!!!!!
  • by Anonymous Location: ms on Apr 8, 2010 at 10:20 AM
    TO itsabouttime: maybe you are one of the fortunate ones such as myself that can afford fire insurance but not every person can. Anyone can find themselves in a bad situation. As for your "poor planning" statement, it seems pretty heartless to me.
  • by So Sad Location: Meridian on Apr 8, 2010 at 09:16 AM
    I trust each of these people will find homes and begin some semblence of normalcy. I truly hate it for the children who are involved. No amount of planning can ever prepare someone for the loss of everything, as the previous blogger seems to believe. It's them today, it may very well be someone in our family tomorrow.
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