After a fire broke out in a small apartment complex on Harrison Boulevard in late August, the residents found themselves confused, displaced and with most of their belongings destroyed.
Among those left homeless were a number of Oregon State University students who are now being housed in Sackett Hall, a residence hall on campus. Drew Desilet, University Housing and Dining Services safety and inspection coordinator, said he sent out an invitation to all the displaced residents of the apartment complex after getting in touch with the Corvallis Fire Department.
“We normally extend an invitation to groups we know have some connection to the university,” Desilet said.
Although Red Cross was able to offer motel rooms for the displaced residents on a short-term basis, because the fire occurred so close to the beginning of the school year, many of the residents are having trouble procuring a new apartment, so the six students who opted to move into Sackett Hall have until Sept. 13 to find another place, or make an arrangement with University Housing and Dining Services to stay for Fall term.
The dorm rooms include basic furniture and linens. Red Cross has provided the students with additional assistance, including money for food and clothing.
Last year, when a fraternity was partially destroyed in an explosion, UHDS was able to provide the entire chapter with rooms for the remainder of that term. This year, with residences halls at full capacity, fitting in extra people isn’t going to be easy, but each residence hall maintains a few empty rooms for emergency situations.
“There’s some flex space, but with over-capacity, it’s tight,” Desilet said.
UHDS is now working with the newly formed Human Services Resource Center, housed in Snell, which is a student –funded group that provides emergency aid to students in crises. The help ranges from providing food to offering temporary shelter, which is usually limited to 28 days.
Any member of the campus community, including staff and faculty, can seek out emergency assistance through the Human Services Resource Center, which works directly with UHDS to provide short-term support for those in need. For more information about the program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
~ Theresa Hogue