On Wednesday, January 8th at 4 am a fire broke out at the Green-Baxter Court public housing site. Thankfully, all of the tenants were able to get out of their units safely but some did end up with frost bite and smoke inhalation. They were awoken out of bed by other GBC residents and left with nothing but their pajamas. Six families have lost their homes and some have lost all of their possessions and the rest have lost most of their possessions. Fourteen children were displaced with their families ranging in age from two to eighteen. As you can imagine, the families are in shock and overwhelmed.
The families are currently staying in a hotel until the Housing Commission can relocate them to permanent housing. Community Action Network (CAN) is the service provider at GBC and they have been working tirelessly with the families along with AAHC staff to help them with immediate needs like replacing glasses, breathing machines, prescriptions and clothing as well as long-term needs such as schooling, transportation and housing. Many people and organizations have reached out to us to help. The greatest need is for cash donations to enable the families to take care of immediate day-to-day needs. Once families are in permanent housing, CAN is working with local service organizations to replace furniture and household items.
Please spread the word that if people are moved to help, they can make a donation directly on CAN’s website at canannarbor.org and CAN will ensure that the funds are used to help these families rebuild their lives. The Ann Arbor Housing Commission and CAN do not have the capacity to store household goods or clothing,so please make those types of donations to Kiwanis or the Ann Arbor Thrift Shop so that the families can select the items they need from organizations that are able to manage it.
The fire department is investigating the cause of the fire which is undetermined at this time. Residents did hear the smoke detectors go off and the firewalls between units did help slow the spread of the fire. A reminder to us all to make sure we have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in our home. The buildings were covered by insurance and they will be rebuilt as part of the Housing Commission’s property redevelopment plan so that these affordable housing units are not permanently lost in the community.
The fire was reported on MLive:
Ann Arbor Housing Commission
404 N. Ashley
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Please Visit our Website: www.a2gov.org/housingcommission