Zeinab and Ahmed have been neighbors for six years. They have five young children. Early this morning their home on 44th Ave S caught fire, everyone got out OK, but the house seems to be a total loss.
In the intensity of the fire response and the initial shock of it all, many neighbors offered help. We struggled a little this morning with how best to do it. Here's what I know:
- There are things inside the house that they can salvage, but they'll need to find another place.
- For tonight and maybe a couple more nights the Red Cross has put them up in a hotel in Georgetown.
- They have Somali friends who are taking care of immediate clothing needs.
- A close Somali friend is keeping the kids for at least part of today until they're all in the hotel.
- Zeinab has some support coming from the Red Cross and from SEIU — Lisa Beaulaurier around the corner is her union rep through her child care work. A family support worker from the kids' elementary talked with Zeinab on the phone, so maybe there's some assistance from that quarter too.
- Ahmed is an instructional assistant at Franklin, so that income is steady. Zeinab's child care can't happen until she's established somewhere and relicensed.
- They're very hesitant to ask for anything. The girls' clothing needs are culturally specific. The best I can figure, cash is the best assistance we can offer — they're not asking, but I think there's plenty of room for offering.
- They need to find another place nearby to live: three bedrooms, no more than $1400/ month.
If you'd like to help, please moc.liamtoh|nalpttocs#em liame or call 329 5912. Thank you.