Columbus church helping Woodcliff Apt. fire victims

Updated: Dec. 16, 2016 at 8:21 PM EST
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(Source: Irisha Jones/WTVM)
(Source: Irisha Jones/WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – More than 15 families who lost everything in the Woodcliff apartment fire in late November will get some extra help to continue rebuilding their lives.

A Columbus church is making sure they at least have some of the things of they need.

Eleven of the 17 families that needed some kind of assistance after the fire all have a permanent place to live.

This is according to Susan Cooper of the Urban League of Greater Columbus. The next step is to make sure everyone has utilities and furniture and other basic needs.

"Fortunately, I salvaged a lot of stuff, thank God. You know, other people weren't as fortunate as I was," said Steven Harris.

Steven Harris spoke with News Leader 9 just days after the massive fire at Woodcliff apartments.

Seventeen families were affected and since then several organizations teamed up to help residents find some stability.

"It's just our way of giving our love to anybody who needs anything, we might not have the things they want but it's the heart of giving something for them to put a smile on their face," said Tolua Puailoa with Samoan Christian Church.

The Samoan Christian Church in Columbus is holding a "Giving Back for the Holidays" event to help anyone displaced by the fire four days before thanksgiving.

The church has enlisted the help of a city counselor for the event.

"It's really going to be a blessing and for them to use my place will be a blessing for me because my heart goes out to those families," said Jerry 'Pops' Barnes.

Clothing, toiletries, canned food, shoes and other items will be given out to those still in need.

Nearly a month later, the section of the complex that caught fire is still closed off with yellow crime tape.

Some people were able to immediately find another place to live and start over.

The "Giving Back for the Holidays" event will be held at City Councilor Jerry "Pops" Barnes office located at 3640 Buena Vista Road from 12 – 3 p.m. Saturday.

The Samoan youth group will sing Christmas carols at the event and the church will give gifts to the community.

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