Jun 16, 2015
By Spencer Buell
Posted Jun. 16, 2015 at 5:50 PM
The latest of local efforts to help those impacted by a devastating East Arlington fire, a benefit concert at the Regent Theatre on Wednesday, June 10, raised $1,550 for displaced families.
Tickets and merchandise sales at the June 10 event, which featured several musicians and performers from Arlington and was billed as “Side By Side for Brookside,” supported a fund to help residents find and pay for new homes.
Regent co-owner Leland Stein said the theater hosted the event at no charge, a sound engineer worked pro bono and performers donated all proceeds from sales of CDs and other goods.
“When there’s an opportunity to do something like this, we’re all for it,” Stein said. “A theater is nothing if it’s not about community and this was a perfect instance of that.”
The Housing Corporation of Arlington established the fund shortly after the May 5 fire.
Dozens were forced out of their apartments after the four-alarm fire tore through the Brookside Condominiums complex on Arizona Terrace. One man died in the blaze, and as many as 27 people may still be searching for a place to live, 11 of whom remain in direct contact with the HCA looking for help, according to HCA Executive Director Pam Hallett.
Including funds from the concert, the HCA has collected about $20,000, Hallett said, which is almost enough to help those in most need pay for a month’s rent and security deposit on an apartment.
None of the money has been spent yet, she said. Facing a limited stock of affordable apartments in the area, none of the displaced residents have been able to find a new home nearby.
“That’s a problem,” Hallett said. “Right now the rents are so high they can’t find a unit to replace the one they lost.”
After electrical repairs at the complex, about 16 Brookside residents were able to return to their homes this week, Hallett said. She said another eight are set to return when cleanup of the first floor – which sustained heavy water damage – is complete in a few weeks.
The HCA is also collaborating with Reading-based Mission of Deeds to secure bedding and other furniture for families whose belongings were destroyed, Hallett said.
To contribute to the fund, visit the HCA website’s donation page. In the “designation” field, write “fire.”