NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The Coalition of Concerned Clergy (CCOC) and Congressman Bobby Scott have raised $20,000 over the holiday weekend to help provide financial support to assist the displaced residents of Seaview Lofts.
Seaview Lofts residents learned the building was unsafe and they had to leave within 48 hours.
“48 hours is not enough time to do anything, I have a husband in a wheelchair, and an 80-year-old sister that has dementia, so I got my hands full,” said resident Elsie Scarboro.
Friday morning the building was officially condemned, forcing 200 residents out of their homes. The city provided hotels to residents, which was supposed to end Wednesday morning, however, that date has now been extended until July 11.
Dr. Tremayne Johnson, President of the COCC said, "Assistance for our neighbors confronting this sudden housing crisis is an urgent priority".
When residents were informed they had to vacate the building within 48 hours, numerous pastors and congregations felt that immediate assistance was paramount.
The elevator inside is a big reason for the building's condemnation, as it is still not up to code.
According to an email sent by the building's management, as of Wednesday, the parts that are needed to fix the elevators have not yet been delivered. They say the new projected date is Friday and they will let residents know when everything has passed inspection. Scarboro said she's frustrated.
“I’ve uprooted my whole family and that’s not acceptable to me," Scarboro said.
The COCC, Congressman Scott, and other community leaders are working with the City of Newport News to distribute funds to displaced residents.
Residents that are staying in the hotels and are leaseholders can pick up gift cards on Wednesday next to City Hall at 210 25th Street from 10am-2pm or 4pm-7pm.
“It gives them an opportunity to get what they need, without specifically saying you’ve got to buy food or use it for this or for rent,” Johnson said.
The community can also donate to the COCC by check; mailed to Zion Baptist Church, 633 20th Street, Newport News, Virginia, or by CashApp $COCC757.