Seaford family says time is running out for them to find permanent shelter after losing their home in a fire
SEAFORD, Del.- A family in Seaford is asking for any help they can get after losing their home in a fire last Wednesday.
“Everything is burnt down, everything we built here is gone we got nothing,” said Homeowner Lisa Hall who lived at the home with 16 kids and 7 other adults.
Five of the children were former students of Sussex Montessori School, and officials have been stepping up their efforts to get the family what they need in the aftermath, but admit even they can’t get the family all they need.
“They called us right away and we immediately jumped on board and we had been gathering blankets and clothes and hats and gloves anything people can provide,” said Sussex Montessori Director Lisa Coldiron.
The school is leveraging its food pantry and clothing program to give the kids necessities like winter coats, food, and toiletries, as well as the school’s social worker April Albury-Harmon to help the family navigate the social safety net, and get the family emergency shelter at a hotel.
However, the family says that is a temporary option that is quickly running out.
“They put us in a hotel but we only have 7 days in there after that we don’t know what we are going to do,” said housing resident Stephanie McCaskill.
Albury-Harmon says they are doing all they can but it’s not enough.
“Their needs are housing at this point they need secure housing for the children and adults in the house and that’s something we cannot provide on our own we have exhausted what we can do for them,” she said.
Albury-Harmon tells 47ABC that she hopes the state agencies can step up to help the family, who will have no choice but to return to the home, or sleep out of a car after funding for the hotel rooms expire.
“We are asking and hoping someone can reach out and help that’s what our state services are for and that it won’t just end there and we hope additional services can be provided to the family,” she said.
The family tells 47ABC, they’ve been filling out applications at various state agencies and looking to find rental units.
But no matter where they turn they are met with the same answer.
“We called everywhere either things are not available or our waiting list is over a year and time is critical we don’t have a year,” said resident China Bowman.
School officials say, while the most pressing need is for shelter, they are happy to collect food and clothing for the family, and anyone that wants to donate can email that at email@example.com
A GoFundMe has also been established by the family’s neighbors.