Tenants of the storm damaged Kelly Avenue apartments in Old North Dayton were ordered Tuesday to vacate their homes by the end of the week. The news panicked residents, many of whom have nowhere else to go.
Miami Valley Community Action Partnership (MVCAP) has set up a base camp on the street, which is lined with twisted sheet metal, crushed cars, and crumbling brick apartment buildings. The organization is working to find housing for the dozens of people who once lived here.
Cherish Cronmiller, who heads the nonprofit, says they need to find 40 available housing units by the end of the week, and 150 in the next three weeks. The task is complicated in part because most of the residents are on a fixed income, or have a disability.
“Finding landlords that are willing to work with us and not do credit checks and not do a lengthy application period and are willing to potentially lower rents into that $300 [to] $400 realm for these individuals so that we can get them rehoused is critically important,” said Cronmiller.
Some residents may need to move into shelters or stay with family while MVCAP works to find them more permanent homes. Cronmiller says they’re hoping to simplify the moving process.
“Because you're really you're compounding the trauma if you make an individual pack up their stuff and put it in a storage unit and go to a shelter and then find a place and then move from the storage unit to the next unit,” she said. “That's a lot to process. So if we can do it in a one step process, that's what we want to do.”
MVCAP is encouraging residents to register with the Red Cross to determine their eligibility for other types of assistance. Red Cross caseworkers are holding meetings with displaced people at the Dayton Metro Library this week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on MVCAP disaster relief efforts, visit: https://miamivalleycap.org/tornado-recovery-assistance/