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Donate to Help Displaced Tenants

On August 8, a fire erupted at Pine Creek Apartments in Southeast Denver, displacing dozens of families. When the building was fenced off afterwards, those families lost access to everything they owned with little warning. Clothes, furniture, money, passports, important documents: all left in the inaccessible apartments.

Months later, as they tried to rebuild their lives, and still without their belongings, some tenants received an unpleasant surprise: they were being evicted from their Pine Creek apartments, despite having already been locked out.

With support from Denver DSA, Colorado 9to5, and Colorado Legal Services, these tenants are now fighting these evictions in court. But between losing their housing and the COVID-19 pandemic, many are struggling to pay rent, buy groceries, and provide for their families.

With the holidays coming up, these families are asking for community support. Any contribution you can make will help them cover legal fees, food, rent, and all the other costs compounded by losing everything in the fire.

Denver DSA’s Housing Justice Committee, in conjunction with affected tenants will be collecting and distributing the funds and will be providing full transparency throughout the process.

See below for tenant stories and photos of the fire and how it affected their life. You may also view the full Denverite article.

Tenant Stories

“Winn and her family stayed with her sister the night of the fire, Aug. 8. Winn checked in with the Pine Creek management office daily for several days and was told it was unsafe to return to her apartment, even to collect clothing and other belongings. Within a few days, Winn was able to get a hotel room through the Red Cross. She eventually found a new apartment — at twice the $595 monthly rent she’d been paying at Pine Creek.” -Denverite

“On a visit to Pine Creek weeks after the fire, Washington peered at his old building through a chain-link fence. The building is in the back of the large complex, overlooking Ben Bezoff Park. Signs of the fire marked the outside of the building: plastic sheeting flapping from a window, singed wooden railings along a few windows. He could not get into his first-floor home of 10 years or see any of his possessions — his clothing, his family’s birth and death certificates, heirlooms such as his grandfather’s hats, watches and shoes.

‘I’m looking at part of me that’s trapped on another side of a building, trapped inside of a building that can’t come out,” Washington said. “And I have no way of knowing what’s what.’” -Denverite

“Peña had only the clothes he’d worn to work that day and change from the money he had taken for lunch when he left that morning. He has been staying with a friend ever since.” -Denverite

Aftermath of the fire in Pine Creek Apartments A fire blazing in the topmost floor of Pine Creek Apartments in Southeast Denver