The Jefferson Apartments aren’t much, but they are home. And on August 2nd, they couldn’t even be that.
“There was smoke all over,” said Bernadine Wright, a tenant.
“He said did you hear about the fire and I said ‘what fire?’" said another tenant, after being alerted by a friend over the phone, "and he said ‘the one at your house.’”
Some of the tenants were disabled…all are poor…few had many options.
“It was just like ‘where do I go, what do I do?’" said Nancy Alscott, "and I was very fortunate that a friend had brought me back. I was able to go to his house and stay for a few days to go from there.”
Others moved to a shelter in Beaverdale, but that wasn’t easy.
“My appointments are all on this side of town and I don’t have (any) transportation,” said the tenant.
So he slept on the street while the building was repaired. Finally on Saturday, it was deemed safe for tenants to return--and the old place never looked better to them.
“It’s great!" Alscott smiled, "It’s a wonderful feeling after being out so long, it’s just wonderful.”
Maybe it’s relative…
“Well, it’s a lot better than sleeping in those cots,” said Wright, who had been living at the Mount Zion Church shelter.
Or maybe it’s a great lesson for us all…
“You don’t realize how much you really have compared to some of these other people in the city until something like this happens,” Alscott said.
Home is sweet.