NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – Local clergy helped raise thousands of dollars for former residents of the Seaview Loft Apartments in Newport News, who were suddenly displaced when the building was condemned.
The Coalition of Concerned Clergy and Congressman Bobby Scott raised $20,000 over the 4th of July holiday weekend.
“Pastors have this calling, when one hurts all hurt. Whether we have members that live there or not, when we saw the situation we wanted to help,” said Reverend Dr. Tremayne Johnson, with the Coalition of Concerned Clergy.
Nearly 200 tenants of the apartments on 28th Street were given 48 hours’ notice to vacate. They had to be out by Friday, July 1. The 15-story tower was cited for safety issues both the building’s owner and city knew about since April. The main issue is the building’s non-functioning elevators. The landlord has a court date scheduled for July 8 at 1p.m.
“I’m hoping that they get the elevator fixed right away. In the meantime, the city is taking care of us,” said Linda Williams, Seaview Loft resident. “I want to go back home. I love my apartment!”
The city stepped up to help with hotel rooms for people who needed it. City spokesperson Kim Lee told 10 On Your Side Tuesday that hotel stays for 58 families were extended through July 11. That breaks down to just over 100 people in seven hotels in Hampton and Newport News.
Wednesday, Lee said “nothing has changed since last week” on the condition of the building.
The clergy is working with city officials to distribute the money the group raised. Johnson told WAVY the money will be allocated to help the residents with food, relocation, moving and other expenses.
Rev. Johnson told 10 On Your Side all residents will be assisted. They provided gift cards on Wednesday to those staying in the hotels. Those not needing hotels will be assisted on Monday, July 11. To receive the assistance, residents need to just show proof that they are tenants at the Seaview Loft Apartments.
The fundraising effort continues. If you would like to donate, you can either:
- Send a check to: COCC, Zion Baptist Church, 633 20th Street, Newport News, Va. 23607
- Or by CashApp $COCC757