Durham, N.C. — Tanya Kelly was raising her two grandchildren in Durham’s McDougald Terrace until dangerous levels of carbon monoxide forced the family out.
Kelly, 5-year-old London and 3-year-old King have moved from their three-bedroom apartment to a hotel room that’s just a few hundred square feet with a double bed.
“Yes, it’s a nice place, but at the end of the day, it’s not where you pay your rent, it’s not where you call home,” she said.
The family is one of 170 who have been sent to surrounding hotels, and an additional 40 families are on a waiting list to receive a hotel voucher.
The small refrigerator in Kelly’s hotel room barely has enough room for the children’s food, and, without access to a stove, Kelly has to prepare meals in a microwave.
Because the family had to move out of their apartment quickly, Kelly was able to pack only one box of belongings.
“That’s a box that I just grabbed because I was in a panic,” she said. “I just grabbed stuff. Somehow or other I just grabbed pants and no shirts. Nothing is organized.”
She has no idea when she’ll be able to go back to get anything else.
“I just want a safe place, a safe place to raise my kids,” she said. “I want to go home. I want to go where I’m comfortable right now.”
How to help the residents of Durham’s McDougald Terrace
- United Way of the Greater Triangle’s Durham One Fund is accepting donations to support McDougald Terrace residents. The organization is allocating $52,750 of already available funds to give residents who have been forced out of their homes $250 stipends. Individuals can donate money online.
“These individuals and families already have enough to worry about without the added pressure of surviving a dangerous situation like this one,” said Eric Guckian, President and CEO of United Way of the Greater Triangle. “We are devastated for the people who have lost loved ones, are displaced from their homes, or are suffering from health-related conditions as a result of this situation and we are committed to providing the short-term and long-term support they need to stabilize and rebuild their lives in the days, months, and years following.”
- Affected residents need the following goods:
- Feminine products
- Baby food and formula
- Non-perishable food items
Donations can be dropped off to the Durham Housing Authority recreation center at 531 Lakeland St.
- WRAL’s Kathryn Brown was reporting from one of the hotels were residents were sent to. She said many people said they needed bus passes to get around the city.
As she was reporting, numerous people and organizations dropped off supplies and hot food for residents. “This is one of the most moving displays that I have ever witnessed,” Brown said.
Published at Tue, 07 Jan 2020 23:39:21 +0000