Fire Damage Leaves Habitat Homeowner Homeless – No Emergency Housing Options Available

Following is an open letter / request from Maureen Phillips, on behalf of the Habitat for Humanity:

I’m sharing this with you all, asking you to spread the word to others.  Anyone who is able to assist on a site is welcome – Habitat has a long list of things that still need to be done.  If you know anyone with contracting skills or specialties, that will be especially helpful.  If none of those things, then providing coffee break or lunch food with help.  Any monetary donations are much needed and appreciated as well.

I was Viola’s first point of contact in her Habitat Journey.  She has a wonderful, smart daughter who is going off to college in the fall, and a son who is disabled.  She has no car, so she rides her bike, YEAR-ROUND, to her job at Royal Cleaners.  She has completed 400 hours of sweat equity on other Habitat homes, and is now so close to buying her own house.  This fire was devastating to her and her family.  Our goal is to get her into her house as quickly as possible.  There is NO shelter space available and her Red Cross vouchers have run out.

I appreciate all you’ve done in the past to support Habitat and its mission:  please spread this message to anyone who might be able to help in the next few weeks.  Brian and I will be at the house tomorrow (7/3) working.  Her house is at 17A Von Nida in Pittsfield.

Please see below to find all the ways you can help.

Thank you.  Safe and Happy Fourth of July to you all!

Maureen


  • Donate funds by clicking here
  • Text Viola to 414-44 to make a donation from your phone
  • Call or email Habitat at neigbrett@berkshirehabitat.org to join the work team
  • Offer your services as a contractor
  • Donate lunch and snacks for the volunteers
  • Do you know of a vacant apartment that can be utilized, perhaps with reduced rent, for short term?  Please contact Maureen at mphillips@greylock.org

IMMEDIATE HELP NEEDED

Last Tuesday, June 23 at 10:48 am, firefighters rushed to 297 Columbus Ave.  This four-story brick building of nine apartments, just up the street from the Central Berkshire Habitat office, was ablaze.  According to the Berkshire Eagle, iBerkshires and 22 News, a grease fire ignited an apartment on the third-story, while the other apartments sustained significant smoke and water damage to the extent that the building was condemned.

Fortunately, the 20 residents and their children were evacuated, unharmed.  The American Red Cross was on site to provide disaster relief and motel vouchers; but only for two days.  Families found themselves homeless — including Viola Child, one of our Habitat Homebuyer Partners.

Many of you know Viola from Women Build in the Berkshires.  She is soft-spoken with lovely red hair, and rides her bike on her way to work at Royal Cleaners.  Right now, Viola, her daugher and son have temporary housing which is about to run out.  No emergency housing options are available.  With your help, this family can avoid joining the ranks of homelessness.

With your help and funding, this family can be in their Habitat home in the next few weeks instead of late this year.  With your support it can happen now!  Can you help us raise $10,000 to complete Viola’s home?  There are 40 volunteer opportunities to do the physical work to make it happen.

Habitat community: can you help this family have a safe, permanent place to call home?

There are many ways you can contribute:

  • Donate funds by clicking here
  • Text Viola to 414-44 to make a donation from your phone
  • Call or email Habitat at neigbrett@berkshirehabitat.org to join the work team
  • Offer your services as a contractor
  • Donate lunch and snacks for the volunteers
  • Do you know of a vacant apartment that can be utilized, perhaps with reduced rent, for short term?  Please contact Maureen at mphillips@greylock.org

As Habitat champions, we can act now, together, to move Viola into her new home ahead of schedule.