Hamilton Heights residents displaced by fire seek continued refuge as hotel stays come to an end

Dozens of displaced residents gathered in the basement of a Days Inn in Norwood Sunday night for a pizza dinner with the hope to have their spirits lifted.

News 12 Staff

Dec 12, 2022, 3:08 AM

Updated 550 days ago

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Hamilton Heights residents who were displaced by a fire last week are hoping to find refuge after their hotel stay expires on Monday.
"So this is a testament to how united we are, and how committed we are to getting our building back, and rebuilding our neighborhood," said Tenants Association President Yahaira Paulino.
Dozens of displaced residents gathered in the basement of a Days Inn in Norwood Sunday night for a pizza dinner with the hope to have their spirits lifted.
"Devastating. Completely devastating. Most of us have been living in the building for 30, 40 years. There are children, there are elderly folks, there are folks who don't speak the language," Paulino explained.
In all, 130 tenants were all displaced to hotels across the city. They have not been able to return to their homes to salvage what's left of their belongings.
"We've been struggling a lot to keep everyone connected, since their phones, chargers -- everything was left in there," Paulino said.
The residents received two nights of hotel assistance from the Red Cross and three more from H.P.D. However, come Monday morning, they'll have to check out.
Some of them will transition into the city's shelter systems, while others are unsure where to go next.
"There's this air of uncertainty again, trauma is building up, displacement again from the initial fire," Paulino said. "The push is to get families and elderlies into shelters that are apartment-based so they can build up some normalcy."
News 12 reached out to HPD, which says it is working with each displaced family to provide emergency shelter, and that all families have been informed of where that emergency shelter will come from. 
The agency added that four households are being placed into family living centers, while 13 families and single households were placed into single room occupancies and another 21 households are in the process or have registered with emergency housing services but refused shelter placement.  
A GoFundMe page was set up to help the tenants get back on their feet and as of Sunday, it raised over $12,000.
"We're still united, even though we're going to be separated," Paulino said.


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