What now for housing elderly, disabled residents displaced by Mississippi apartment complex fire? Where are they now, and where will they live now that ‘home’ is gone?
Published 12:37 pm Monday, February 27, 2023
The numbers matter.
Twenty-two apartments were lost.
Thirty people lost their homes.
Six were able to go with their families for now, and 22 are temporarily housed in local hotels. Two of these had minor injuries, and another two residents died.
Those are the numbers from the fire that consumed the Brookwood Apartment Complex on East Chippewa Street Sunday morning.
The blaze was reported to emergency services six minutes after midnight.
Just two minutes later, firefighters were on the scene, but the three joined buildings were “fully involved” — all on fire beyond the point of saving the structures.
A fourth building in the complex, just yards away from the others and not joined by a covered breezeway — as the others were — may have been spared for that very reason.
The complex was built in 1970 to be utilized by the Brookhaven Housing Authority as housing for the elderly and disabled.
Built to the 1970 code, BHA assistant director Arlene Carter said the facility had passed its most recent inspection, including smoke/fire alarms.
The BHA executive director and board will meet this week to determine a plan for rehousing the displaced 28 residents, Carter said.
BHA has two additional sites for elderly and disabled housing, but those are at capacity.
“People are stepping up to help, and it’s such a blessing,” Carter said. “They’ve donated food, shelter, and clothes by the truckload. We just appreciate everybody. Even the medicines needed have been provided.”
For now, the former Brookwood residents will remain with families or in hotels until a more permanent solution is provided.
“Everyone is meeting the needs above and beyond,” Carter said. “The community is stepping up, and that’s a blessing.”
Those numbers matter, too.