How to help families forced to leave McDougald Terrace amid carbon monoxide scare

Friday, January 10, 2020
People evacuated from McDougald Terrace talk about their experiences
People evacuated from McDougald Terrace talk about their experiences

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The investigation into carbon monoxide concerns at Durham's McDougald Terrace is turning critical as residents who were displaced scramble for resources and food.

On Tuesday, the United Way of the Greater Triangle announced that its Durham One Fund will begin accepting donations to support the McDougald Terrace residents. It is also immediately allocating nearly $53,000 available through the Durham One Fund to provide $250 stipends that individuals and families who have been, or plan to be, evacuated can use to purchase food and other personal items.

"These individuals and families already have enough to worry about without the added pressure of surviving a dangerous situation like this one. It's imperative as a community that we have support structures in place to help our neighbors when they need it most and that's exactly what the Durham One Fund was designed to do," said Eric Guckian, President and CEO of United Way of the Greater Triangle. "We are devastated for the people who have lost loved ones, are displaced from their homes, or are suffering from health-related conditions as a result of this situation and we are committed to providing the short-term and long-term support they need to stabilize and rebuild their lives in the days, months, and years following."

In early January, Durham Housing Authority began "immediate emergency relocation" of families living at McDougald Terrace. The evacuations came after at least seven carbon monoxide poisonings in December.

Hundreds of residents were evacuated from their homes and relocated to area hotels.

WATCH: Residents evacuated from McDougald Terrace describe what's happening to them

12-year-old says she afraid she may die if she returns to her McDougald Terrace home

There is also only one GoFundMe account that's been approved, The Good Neighbor Fund. Several others are proven frauds.

The Salvation Army is coordinating and collecting physical donations for distribution.

Several of the hotels where the McDougald Terrace residents are now living do not have kitchens or appliances. That has left them without the means to cook, forcing them to spend money on food.

SEE ALSO: 'We're humans, too:' McDougald Terrace residents vent to DHA over carbon monoxide, other concerns

On Saturday, the resident council will also collect donations from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 51B Ridgeway Avenue in McDougald Terrace.

Please donate nonperishable food, paper plates, plastic utensils, baby food & formula, Tupperware, hygiene products

McDougald Terrace is Durham's largest and oldest public housing communities.