RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – Last week Pastor Robert Winfree said his congregation at the New Life Deliverance Tabernacle in Richmond was dealing with an emergency. A family of 14 – six adults and eight children – known to the church were displaced by a house fire in the Lakeside area of Henrico last Wednesday.
According to Winfree, no one in the family was injured in the fire, but virtually all of their belongings were lost.
“It’s bigger than not just having a place to stay; it’s the epitome of emergency,” Winfree said. “It’s hard to imagine how traumatic it really is for a young person to be uprooted from one place and then shoveled over to another place.”
“The apartment was burned out. They have nowhere else to go and cannot return even after the renovation due to various technical issues,” Winfree said.
Winfree says the family has received help from the Red Cross, but that help is thin. In response, Winfree and a collective of other churches and organizations decided to intervene.
The Humanitarian Ambassadors of America, Faith and Family and Mount Gilead and New Life Deliverance Tabernacle have all agreed to help this family.
On Monday, Winfree presented a check for $5,000 to Nicole Allen and her sister, Deon Webster, who were both displaced by the fire.
“This is just to help you find a temporary new location and home until we can find a more permanent home,” Winfree told the sisters.
But the compassion didn’t stop there. Winfree says his church also gives them a safe place to lay their heads.
“We have a property on Southside where we used to rent,” Winfree said. “It was vacant at the time, so we will allow them to reside in that particular apartment for at least 90 days.”
Compassion, Allen says, will help her and her children get back on their feet.
“What the community has done for me and my family has been amazing,” Allen said. “I can cook, play with the kids and do family things like I used to.”
Now, as Allen and her family try to rebuild their lives, Winfree calls on the local government to help other families in extreme circumstances.
“There should be somewhere in town we can go,” Winfree said. “Here we are as a community saying, ‘Together we can do better.'”
Allen’s family will be moving into this home next week, but in the meantime all six adults and eight children still need basic necessities like clothes, shoes, sheets and school supplies.
The family has made a list of their needs, and Winfree is asking anyone who can help to donate the supplies at the New Life Deliverance Tabernacle.
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