Updated: September 6, 2022
Lutheran Church Charities continues to partner with the Prospect Heights Police Department victim advocates as they identify needs and provide assistance to residents affected by the large condominium fire last week, very near the LCC office. These advocates are working closely with all affected residents to make referrals of available community resources to aid in their recovery, as well as provide interpretive services to the many Polish and Hispanic-speaking residents.
The greatest need right now is to assist residents in securing new housing as quickly as possible. Residents are beginning to work with their insurance companies to understand coverage of their losses and to seek new housing, as many anticipate they will be out of their units for many months to a year.
A few units did not sustain any fire or water damage, but because 32 units are in the same building, they had some smoke damage, and all utilities were cut off to the entire building. These residents have been told they could be out of their homes for 4-6 weeks, but since there's no actual fire damage, insurance is not covering many of their expenses.
Lutheran Church Charities anticipates assisting with temporary housing needs as identified and requested by the victim advocates in the coming weeks. Please pray for everyone impacted by this tragic fire. If you are so moved, please donate to help LCC help our neighbors as we bring the Mercy, Compassion, Presence, and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those who are suffering and in need.
On Thursday, August 25, Kathy O’Day, Lutheran Church Charities Director of Disaster Response, received a call from the Prospect Heights, Illinois, Police Department regarding resident assistance for a fire at the Willow Heights Condominiums. This fire damaged 32 units and displaced over 100 residents.
Lynda Streich, Interim LCC President/CEO, and Kathy O'Day responded immediately and assisted the Prospect Heights social workers with completing intake forms with affected residents. LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs in training, Daniel, Grace, Lazarus, and Michael, with LCC staff and volunteers, also came to provide comfort and care to distraught and displaced residents. Prospect Heights police and fire departments expressed their sincere thanks to LCC for our prompt and caring response to their residents in need.
On Friday, LCC reached out to Betty Franz from Immanuel Lutheran Church Good Samaritan Ministries in Palatine, Illinois, to see if they could offer residents who lost everything any assistance. On Saturday, several fire-affected residents were welcomed to fill a large bag with free clothing and household items they needed. Betty stated that the residents who came were very appreciative of what they received and for being able to share their struggles and concerns with caring Christian volunteers.
Lutheran Church Charities will continue to partner with the Prospect Heights Police Department victim advocates as they identify needs and provide assistance to residents affected by the fire. They provide interpretive services to Hispanic, Russian, and Polish-speaking residents so they can be informed of the available community resources to aid in their recovery.
The greatest need right now is to assist families in securing new housing as quickly as possible. Four families have already been identified by the advocates as needing some rental assistance as they seek a new place to live.
Some of those affected by the fire have been staying in hotels that were funded by the Red Cross or their insurance company for this week only, but many will not have the funds to stay longer and risk becoming homeless. Some are staying with family or friends temporarily, and even a few are in their vehicles. As families seek to secure housing, LCC is ready and willing to assist as requested.
Please pray for everyone responding and impacted by this tragic fire. If you are so moved, please donate to help LCC help our neighbors as we bring the Mercy, Compassion, Presence, and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those who are suffering and in need.