Victims of Westfield fire continue to search for housing - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Victims of Westfield fire continue to search for housing

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After a fire destroyed a Westfield apartment building, many families are trying to rebuild their lives.

One mother and her teenage daughter with disabilities have just days before they will need to find a handicapped accessible place to stay.

Kimberly Amlaw and her daughter Alexis once called Powdermill Village home, but a quick-moving fire destroyed their building on Sunday.
"I have severe smoke and water damage," said Amlaw. 
Alexis is her mother’s joy, and they have an inseparable bond.

The 13-year-old has physical disabilities and requires specific care.
"My daughter has severe medical issues. She didn’t walk, she’s wheelchair bound, and in order to transport her anywhere, she needs to be transported by ambulance," said Amlaw. 
They need to stay in a handicap accessible place, and they were given temporary assistance but it won’t last for long.
"We were able to be put up in an emergency respite home until next Friday. After next Friday, we don’t know where we’re going. There aren’t handicapped accessible apartments around," Amlaw continued. 
She tried to apply for emergency shelter, but Amlaw said they do not have anything that is handicap accessible.

Then she applied for housing, but she is unsure when that will be available.
"I waited three years to get on it to begin with, and now everybody else who lost their apartment is applying. I’m going to be put on a wait list like everybody else," Amlaw added. 
There is also another problem.

"If I leave the city, I have to reapply for all of my daughters services all over again and she cannot be without them," said Amlaw. 
Western Mass News reached out to the city. They said this is a unique situation, but are trying to assist and that the Salvation Army may be able to help.

While there is no clear cut answer Amlaw said she will keep fighting to find a solution.
"I’m officially homeless with my child. I have no idea where I’m going to go," said Amlaw. 
Western Mass News reached out to the property manager, but has not yet received a comment.

Amlaw said they have been trying to assist her. 

If you would like to help Kim and Lexi by making a donation, please visit this link here to their GoFundMe page

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