Support efforts are underway for residents displaced from the May 16 fire at Madonna House at Belmont Seniors Apartments. Currently, several residents are temporarily housed at the Clarion Hotel & Suites and the Sleep Inn
. The City of Fredericksburg would especially like to thank the Clarion Hotel for their incredible level of support in providing shelter for displaced residents as well as on-site workspaces for city staff and supporting organizations. The hospitality and helpfulness of the Clarion Hotel staff, especially to the displaced residents, was truly exceptional.
The City of Fredericksburg Department of Social Services, with assistance from the Fredericksburg Regional Continuum of Care and the American Red Cross, has been working to identify relief funds and housing options for displaced residents. . And they worked alongside Madonna House Property Management to help identify a plan for each individual resident who is in temporary shelter due to the fire.
About 25 apartments were damaged by fire and will require several months of renovation before they can be reoccupied. City fire marshals and building inspectors helped Madonna House Property Management plan a phased reopening of the roughly 46 other apartments that were less damaged, in a bid to expedite plans and bring residents back to those 46 apartments as soon as possible. The Madonna House property management company has pledged to return 100% of displaced residents to their apartments, if residents of the Madonna House seniors’ apartment community are seniors living on a fixed income. Many displaced residents have lost all of their belongings – and fundraising efforts are underway. Members of our community who wish to help can do so in two ways:
1) Fredericksburg Social Services has received $540 in gift cards to date and will continue to accept gift cards of any amount. Gift cards can be delivered during business hours to the Fredericksburg Department of Social Services, 608 Jackson St., Ste. 100, Fredericksburg, VA 22401. Please note that at this time our DSS does not accept cash or donated goods. For more information on donations, please call 540-372-1032.
2) Healthy Generations Rappahannock Area Agency on Aging has set up a Go Fund Me called “Help for Fire Displaced Madonna House Residents” which is online at https://www.gofundme.com/f/help- for-residents-displaced-by-fire-from-the-house-of-madonna . All funds from this campaign will be used to help with expenses and any other needs displaced seniors may have.
The outpouring of support from the community during this emergency has been tremendous. And as Christen Gallik, Fredericksburg’s director of social services, said, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint. These are our people, the people of Fredericksburg, and we will be with them to make sure they have what they need.