SUFFOLK, Va.— Suffolk Tower residents are getting help from the community to make a difficult time a little bit better.
Residents were first relocated from their N. Main Street apartment on June 30 after a major water leak.
Six days later, some residents were left stranded out in the heat for several hours waiting to move into the building they were told was ready.
Just when things were getting back to normal, the city says a suspected arsonist set a fire, forcing them to evacuate on Tuesday — less than two weeks after the water leak.
Residents say they were told they could go home Wednesday. They left their motel just to find out the apartment building was not open.
“I just wish this nightmare is over,” said Kevin Henley.
Their struggles haven’t gone unnoticed.
Local businesses pooled money and collected donations to purchase food for displaced residents and deliver the food to their motels.
“Suffolk is a close-knit community. We look out for each other, so when we see one of ours is in need, we decided to just do what we can to help to make sure one of our fellow community members are in the best position possible,” said Enlightened Minds Mentoring owner Albert Hill.
Hill delivered meals he and others helped purchase Thursday.
He says the local businesses purchased around 80 meals total on Wednesday and Thursday to give residents one less thing to worry about.
“We don’t even know where the help is coming from, but Lord, we are thankful for it - that’s the truth,” said David Mount.
The meals were a welcome surprise for many who are happy to see someone cares.
The City of Suffolk says they are ready to inspect the building, but says the owner still has to get working smoke detectors and working with locks on a number of units before the building can be reinhabited.