"Windermere Court Apartments"

Goodwill seemingly squandered: West Philly fire victims looking for answers

Posted on 06 February 2011 by Mike Lyons

Within a day of the Jan. 10 at the Windermere Court Apartments at 48th and Walnut Street people from around the area stepped up to help the 100 or more people that the fire made homeless. Folks donated clothes, money and other things to the Salvation Army, the Red Cross and other organizations. Little of that help has seemingly made it to the victims. We wanted to alert readers to a discussion on our original story on aid to the victims. Here is a sample comment from Lara, a former resident of Windermere Court:

I am also a former resident of the Windermere apartments, and yes, I can confirm that none of the clothing donated to the Salvation Army goes directly to us. And the same goes for any money donated to the Red Cross – it DOES NOT go directly to us. We have each been given a $100 voucher to use at a Salvation Army store, in one visit, before mid February. As far as donated clothing goes, unfortunately I have no idea where it can be donated where it will be held for us. Some of us have found adequate clothing through friends, coworkers, and the help of other former residents of Windermere Court. Others have had more difficulty finding what they need. I will say this though… we have barely seen any of all of the aid we keep hearing of, and it is not only disheartening, but angering. Where is it going? We (many former residents) keep reading misinformation about such resources that have supposedly been provided to us in news articles again and again. We have not been put up in hotels or apartments by anyone but perhaps friends or family, and we have been mostly fending for ourselves at the same time as grieving what we’ve lost. We’ve been communicating with one another and have been each other’s best source of information and resources. I wish I could help you help us, but I don’t know exactly how to do that.

See more comments here. Next week we plan to do a one-month update on what’s happening with fire victims and the building.

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Art show and sale for fire relief tonight

Posted on 02 February 2011 by Mike Lyons

An Amanada Hamtil piece.

A group of Philadelphia artists will be hosting a benefit show, sale and raffle tonight at 5:30 p.m. at City Tap House (3925 Walnut St.) for victims of the Jan. 10 Windermere Court Apartments fire in West Philly.

Amanda Hamtil, Gaby Heit, Christopher Kontoes and S. Leser are members of the artist’s group “In Here.” They work in photography, acrylic painting, pen and ink and pencil drawing. Twenty percent of all their sales will go to the Salvation Army West Philadelphia Fire Distress Relief fund. The artists will also donate pieces to a raffle that will also be held tonight at the City Tap House.

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Governor asks for aid for Windermere fire victims

Posted on 26 January 2011 by Mike Lyons

Here is some potentially good news for victims of the fire at Windermere Court Apartments.

Governor Tom Corbett has called upon the Small Business Administration to declare Philadelphia a disaster area so that low-interest loans can be made available to victims.

“The apartment building was home to students, families and retirees who now have nothing left. In order to help these victims recover from this disaster, I have asked the federal Small Business Administration to make low-interest disaster loans available to help replace lost and damaged property,” Corbett said in a statement issued yesterday. “I urge the SBA to take prompt action on this request.”

If Corbett’s request is granted, the SBA would make low interest, long-term loans available of up to $40,000 to replace personal property. The loans are based on each applicant’s financial qualifications.

The question that will likely arise for many made homeless by the fire is their status on the lease. We had heard that some residents were not listed on leases and we are still trying to figure out how that would affect their eligibility for a loan or other aid.

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Tailless brown manx also missing

Posted on 18 January 2011 by Mike Lyons

This is from Kate Krauss. Her friend Maureen’s cat is still missing from the Windermere Court Apartments fire. Here’s a flyer (click to enlarge):

missing cat

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Clothing drives today for victims of West Philly fire (update – a third collection point)

Posted on 17 January 2011 by Mike Lyons

clothing driveUpdate: Local 44 can’t handle any more donations. They need shoppers. Tell everyone and anyone you know who lived at Windermere to get over there now. The folks at Local 44 had to rent a U-haul already to store the stuff they inevitably will have left over.

Update: Craig wrote about another collection at IsShoes, Alice Burbage’s women’s boutique, at 120 s. 61st St. The store is collecting from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. today. Call for other times to 215-471-5555.

We know of two clothing drives for the victims of the Jan. 10 fire at Windermere Court Apartments in West Philadelphia.

Local 44 (44th and Spruce) will set up tables along Spruce Street outside of the pub to collect clothing donations from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Try to bring things that would be useful to folks now. So winter clothes would be best. Fire victims should stop by to get what they need.

A reader, Natalie, tipped us off to the clothing drive at Drexel’s Alpha Pi Lambda (33rd and Powelton). They are accepting cold weather clothing for fire victims from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The organization will accept donations of gently used hats, gloves, scarves, jackets and blankets at its house at 33rd and Powelton. Those who cannot give clothing can donate cash, which will be used to buy clothes for the drive. Those displaced by the fire who need clothing should stop by.

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Cats spotted near Windermere Court

Posted on 16 January 2011 by Mike Lyons

This is from Linda Lee concerning cats spotted near the Windermere Court Apartments over the weekend, nearly a week since the fire there.

I actually just got a text from one of the Philly officers who saw a
cat this evening on the 48th st side of the building (in the area
behind Windermere Courts). He thinks it had a collar on and gave the
following description: a small multi color grey cat with short hair
and 2 back white legs and a small white tip on the tail. The cat kept
coming out of the basement of the building for food. He was going to
try to catch it, but hasn’t had any luck…

Here are photos of two cats that have been spotted. Leave a comment if you know anything about these two and we’ll pass along the info:

lost catlost cat

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