Organizations and community members come together to help displaced Geneva Tower residents

Published: Feb. 21, 2022 at 4:03 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - After Sunday’s high rise fire in Cedar Rapids, dozens of people who lived there are now relying on shelters and friends and family. That includes a Red Cross Shelter at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Over 50 people stayed at the Coliseum Sunday night and the Red Cross said they’ve seen more people coming in during meal times as well. They said right now it’s all about providing people with those immediate, basic needs.

”The resources just came in to this hub at Veritas and provided the care that these individuals needed,” said Debbie Craig Affordable Housing Network, Inc. Chief Advocacy Officer.

The Veritas church across the street from Geneva Towers became the first relief shelter after the fire. But the efforts to help the families forced from their apartments is still evolving.

”The most important thing is making sure everyone’s okay. From there, what are their need? Their needs are to have safe shelter, to have food,” said Pami Erickson, American Red Cross.

That includes mental and physical well-being like food and shelter... to helping people get medications and personal items.

How long they’ll be out is still a question mark.

The Affordable Housing network operates Geneva Towers. Chief Advocacy Officer Debbie Craig said it’s already working with contractors to fix the damage - but there’s no set timeline on how long that will take.

”Our goal is to get those tenants back in their units as soon as it is safe to do so. Now, that’s going to come in phases because there’s more damage to some floors than other floors,” said Craig.

Craig said staff are now meeting daily with organizations to make sure residents have what they need.

She added supportive care services for residents will continue as well.... Thankful for support of everyone who’s reached out looking to help.

”It is just amazing to know we live in a community when we know someone else in our community is hurting that we all go to their aid,” said Craig.

If you’d like to help out those who have been displaced you can follow the following links:

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