By REGGIE ROSS
Grenada’s Community Service Director Cassandra Liddell said the city’s outpouring of help has been overwhelming, but the people recently burned out by the fire at the Dogwood Park Apartments need all the help they can get.
Updated totals show that 11 families lost their homes in a Monday morning fire that destroyed two units at the Perry Road apartment complex.
Since then, the Lewis Johnson Senior Citizens Complex, where Liddell works, has been the headquarters for items that range from toiletries, clothing to toys and even furniture.
“For the last few days, it’s been hard to hold back the tears,” Liddell said. “I am so proud of what this city is doing by being there for neighbors. It’s truly a beautiful thing.”
Families that were affected in the fire make up approximately 40 people with ages ranging from one month old to 67 year old. According to Liddell, 18 of the those displaced are children.
After the fire, the City of Grenada opened the Lewis Johnson Senior Citizens Complex as a shelter for the families, and according to City Manager Trey Baker, both the Red Cross and the Mississippi Department of Human Services are also providing assistance.
“Those agencies came in pretty fast, and they are helping where they can,” said Baker.
Since then, families are now being sheltered at local hotels.
“It’s a blessing that all these lives were saved, but families are going to have to restart a rebuilding process,” Baker said.
Hours following the apartment fire, the senior citizens complex became the site of a steady flow of Grenadians delivering necessary items. Tuesday and Wednesday, Liddell and her assistant Eva Grace Lemon were on the constant move sorting out clothing and storing them with the appropriate gender and ages.
“I got to admit we’ve been on a steady flow,” Liddell said. “It’s just unbelievable the amount of charity that Grenada has given to these people who lost everything.”
Liddell said that because of a prior engagement at the complex, they will not open Saturday, but will open next week and will open for donations on Saturday, Aug. 4, at 7 a.m.
According to Liddell, checks can be made out to Renasant Bank Grenada CBRC (Community Basic Recovery Committee) at 1537 Commerce Street, Grenada.
For more information about the drive contact the Office of Community Service at 229-9936.