Residents of the Jason Manor Apartments on the West side of Detroit were victims of a large fire, which destroyed the entire building, Wednesday morning. Some people were able to get out of the building quickly, others, jumped to safety but were injured and needed medical attention.
All of the residents had one thing in common, all of their personal belongings were gone and they had nowhere to go. The volunteers of the American Red Cross, Southeastern Michigan Region, sprang into action quickly and arrived on scene to assess the damage and figure out the best way to assist the residents. It was 10 degrees outside and many people were left without proper clothing or shoes. Two warming busses were on site for people to stay warm, while the Red Cross worked to find an area to interview the residents and provide help. A local church was designated as a service center for the residents where they could get out of the cold, received assistance in the way of food, clothing, shelter and mental health services to deal to help cope with this disaster. The church and the community came together with the Red Cross to provide a safe environment where the residents could receive the help they needed.
Fifteen residents who were in need of overnight shelter were transported to a nearby recreation center, which was turned into a Red Cross shelter. The residents were given warm meals, a warm bed and showers as well as a community atmosphere and mental health services to help get them through the next few days. The Red Cross is working with other agencies to help the residents find permanent housing.
Ed, a resident of the Jason Manor apartments who is staying at the shelter said, he doesn’t understand why this has happened to him, but that he is still here, so, he must be here for a reason and even though he has lost everything, he is glad to be sitting in the shelter, speaking with me. He does not know what is in store for him;, but feels positive that he will be OK.
A disaster can leave you with nothing, but a warm meal, a hug, and a safe place to sleep, can sometimes give hope.
The Red Cross Vision Statement Reads
The American Red Cross, through its strong network of volunteers, donors and partners, is always there in times of need. We aspire to turn compassion into action so that…
…all people affected by disaster across the country and around the world receive care, shelter and hope;
…our communities are ready and prepared for disasters;
…everyone in our country has access to safe, lifesaving blood and blood products;
…all members of our armed services and their families find support and comfort whenever needed; and
…in an emergency, there are always trained individuals nearby, ready to use their Red Cross skills to save lives.