SimpleWay building burns to the ground



This guy has a great organization that does so much for the poor. Please consider helping rebuild their facilities.

Read below:

6/20/07 11:25PM

This morning, a 7-alarm fire consumed an abandoned warehouse in our Kensington neighborhood in Philadelphia. The Simple Way Community Center at 3200 Potter Street was destroyed as well as at least eight of our neighbors’ homes. Over 100 people were evacuated from their homes, and 400 families are currently without power. Despite this tragedy, we are incredibly thankful to share that all of our community members and every one of our neighbors is safely out of harm’s way.
This fire will forever change the fabric of our community. Eight families are currently homeless, and in many cases have lost their vehicles as well as their homes. One of our neighbors, the Mahaias Family, lost their three cars as well as the equipment one family member uses for her massage therapy business. Teenager Brian Mahaias is devastated not because he has lost his belongings, but because he fears that this fire will force him to move away from this neighborhood that is his family as well as his home.
The Simple Way has lost a community center that was home to our Yes! And… afterschool program, community arts center, and Cottage Printworks t-shirt micro-business as well as to two of our community members. Community members Shane Claiborne and Jesce Walz have lost all of their belongings, Yes!And…’s after school studio and library were ruined, and community member Justin Donner’s Cottage Printworks equipment and t-shirts were destroyed.
We are thankful that we are able to help each other during this time of need, and we will continue to keep your informed about today’s events.
We have established funds to support the families who have lost their homes, the Yes! And…afterschool program, and the Simple Way community.
These funds have been established through a partner organization, EAPE. Tax-deductible donations can be made at
http://tonycampolo.org/simpleway_donation.php. Please make sure to designate “TSW-Kensington Families Fund” or “TSW-Rebuilding Fund”.

-The Simple Way Community

Comments

Emma said…
i heard about this... so sad.
Have you heard any updates about this? I read 'Irresistable Revolution' and it totally hit me..excellent. I love what was happening and have been looking for ways to do similar right in my hometown. Hope they are able to get back up and going...
Carole Turner said…
From the Simple Way web site:

6/27/07 1:30PM

We had our first meeting of the Neighborhood Coalition. Unbelievable. Nearly every neighbor whose home was damaged or destroyed by the fire showed up. We were all able to share and support each other. Some neighbors had never even met and expressed their hopes that this tragedy could be an opportunity to pull us all together as a community. We are grateful for the support of our block captains, and Best English Pizza (3228 Kensington Ave) who are raising support and attention. We are creating a resource list for victims of the fire. We have also created a "Loss Assessment" form that folks present. At the next meeting we will establish a Relief Committee composed of neighbors that will oversee the Neighborhood Relief fund and prioritize the needs. The next meeting will be July 7.

We have had hundreds of financial contributions from all over the world (literally). Words cannot express how thankful we are.

We'd like to thank the band "The Fray" for their support. At a packed show this week in Camden's Tweeter Center, they dedicated a song to our neighborhood and organized a benefit for the relief fund. Thanks Isaac and all. Next time you're in town well do dinner, maybe in a new building or better yet, we'll have a picnic in the park on H Street.
Love. the simples

6/25/07 1:25PM

Want to do something, but just don’t know how to help?

Call our Mayor and Councilman to voice your support. Here’s how…

We are starting a gentle phone-calling campaign to let City officials know that there are thousands of people watching and supporting as our neighborhood asks that the lot where the factory burned be restored into a park and recreation space. Please be nice, as we are hoping that this is an opportunity for them to use their power to honor the pain of families here – and we actually believe it is very likely that they will do what we are asking. Here are their numbers and a few talking points:

Mayor John Street
215 686-2181

Councilman Daniel Savage
215 686-3448

Some possible talking points:

Thanks for your commitment to the 7th District where the fire on H street occurred on June 20.
We recognize that there is some confusion over who owns this property and who was responsible. We also know that this is an opportunity for you to honor the devastated community by listening to its residents who are asking that the lot be restored into a park and recreation space.
Please arrange to meet with the Neighborhood Coalition being organized by The Simple Way – 215 423 3598
Please check their website – thesimpleway.org and consider their petition.