On Monday night, a massive fire raged through a 24 unit apartment building on 136th Street and Amsterdam. It took nearly 200 firefighters two hours to bring the fire under control. Tragically, a 15-year-old girl named Melissa Mendez was killed and 12 others were injured. More than 60 people are temporarily homeless as the building will not be safe to inhabit for months. Many of them have also lost all of their belongings.
Council Member Levine collaborated with two community organizations to establish different ways people can help out the families victimized by the fire:
Monetary donations: West Harlem Group Assistance, which specializes in revitalizing the community and supporting low- and moderate-income families, will be collecting the funds and distributing them to the families. They have set up a PayPal page and all contributions to that account will go directly to the families in need.
Clothing and other housewares: The Church of the Annunciation at 88 Convent Avenue on the corner of 131st Street will be accepting donations of clothing and other household goods. There will be someone on-site at all hours of the day to accept them. Anyone with questions can call 212-234-1919.
Council Member Levine has released the following statement on the relief efforts:
“The emotional and economic hardship faced by these families is enormous. While the City is able to help address some of their short-term needs, it can’t fully help these people rebuild their lives when they were left with nothing. That’s where we as a community have to step in and help to fill the gap between what the Red Cross and the City can provide and what the victims of this terrible fire will need to truly put their lives back together. I’m really grateful to the Church of the Annunciation and West Harlem Group Assistance for stepping up and I encourage everyone to join me in giving what they can.”