Pontiac seniors need your help after fire leaves them homeless

Dozens of Pontiac seniors are still waiting to get back on their feet after fire destroyed their apartment complex a few weeks ago.

Flames ripped through lifetimes of memories, but thankfully more than 40 senior citizens escaped with their lives.

"It burned to the ground and it burned within a few hours," says David Rick CEO of Lighthouse of Oakland County.

"All fire departments in Oakland county responded."

Those seniors have been staying at a nearby hotel, but will run out of money by the end of the month.

Despite dozens of volunteers and organizations stepping up to help,Tuesday, those who called West Manor Apartments home, including the elderly and disabled are still displaced dating back to July 1.

"Surprisingly Erika, they're doing well. Of course, some are feeling lost in what are the next steps," says Rick.

Rick adds the low-income seniors and their families are staying at the Extended Stay America in Auburn Hills, costing Lighthouse roughly $1,000 per day as they  work to find permanent housing.

"We're spending $7,000 per week on this and we still see a couple more weeks left of this effort."

Although so many people have helped, one fundraiser even bringing in about $20,000, Rick says he's still facing problems.

"Only one of the 40 had renters insurance and so we need a whole apartment full of so many things."

Rick says many of the neighbors had been living there for years, decades losing all of their necessities, family heirlooms and even cash in the blaze.

"It's not easy for them. They're seniors."

Needing cash donations to support those seniors while in the hotel, Rick says, once the seniors are moved out of the Extended Stay  and into their new homes, more donations will be needed.

It will go to buy items like new couches, kitchen tables, new clothing that's suitable for seniors and even smaller items like toasters and dishes.

For displaceed deniors, no donation is too small.

In order to donate:

Donations of cash may be made securely online at www.lighthouseoakland.org and click "Donate."  Please reference that the gift is for "West Manor Apartment Fire." 

Alternatively, checks made payable to Lighthouse of Oakland County may be mailed to Lighthouse of Oakland County, P.O. Box 430508, Pontiac, MI 48343.

Gift cards to Meijer, Target and other all-purpose stores are also very helpful.

In-Kind Donations
Donors may visit Lighthouse at 41456 Woodward Avenue in Pontiac, between the hours of 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Friday to donate gifts of new clothing, small household items such as dishes, cookware and silverware. 
Please use Door C for donations.


40 displaced after fire at Pontiac senior home