Windsor answers call to help flooded housing complex
Residents donate cash, gift cards, school supplies and furniture
The call for help went out last week after heavy rains flooded a Windsor apartment complex, where residents eventually went without power for four days. Precious belongings were destroyed, food rotted in their fridges.
- Windsor flood victims issue plea for public help, including food, school supplies
- 'It literally feels like a refugee camp': power cut to social housing units as people recover from storm
Then came the community's response. After hearing of the devastation, people and organizations donated anything they could, including cash, gift cards, school supplies and furniture.
Residents in Alix Sinkevitch Townhomes, many who are are on social housing, still did not have gas heating by Sunday.
The Windsor Islamic Council, alone, raised more than $2,000. It wanted to be able to give every family a Metro gift card to buy back the food that rotted in their fridges.
"It's a sad story and we would like to make it a little better," said Maher El- Masri, chairperson of the Windsor Islamic Council. "That is the least we can do for them. This is a very difficult time for them and we have to come together to help."
The Islamic Council is also planning a fundraiser and donating the proceeds to the families. Other residents have pitched in as well. Cierra Bray drove past the complex and was horrified with what she saw.
"I started crying," she said. "It is so depressing, it is like a war zone and to see all this stuff that people have worked so hard to get is now in this pile and now gone … It just breaks my heart," she said.
Bray has started a GoFundMe page. So far she has raised more than $1,500. She also reached out to dozens of community partners, like Zehrs, local gyms and produce companies.
"I think that community is extremely important and we are so privileged to live in Windsor … and when people ask for help we should listen and respond," said Bray.
Residents told CBC Windsor the Mayor and council also handed out $100 to every housing unit to help get some of them back on their feet.
Fay Haidar has spent her Labour Day weekend hauling pounds of drywall out of her basement. On top of that she hasn't been able to take a hot shower in her home since Tuesday because the gas hasn't been restored to the townhouses.
She praised the community for all the support.
"It honestly is great. I love the fact that everybody is helping," she said, trying to dust the thick layer of white drywall powder left on her skin and clothing.
Fay just has one more request from community members.
"We just need more hands-on-help … we need arms, that is pretty much it, but it is much appreciated everybody helping out," she said.