Finding Agencies to Help After a House Fire

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A house or apartment fire is devastating. Coping with the aftermath can be easier if you have assistance. This is a page about finding agencies to help after a house fire.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

December 5, 2016

How do I get grants after a fire at my house?

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December 31, 2014

I had a fire in my home Dec 1st in PA. I lost everything. I am single, all alone and on disability. Can't afford to rebuild. Can I get any help? I am reaching out as the house was not insured. Please help. Is there any assistance available?

By Robin S.

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December 31, 20142 found this helpful
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It depends on what type of help you are requesting. I don't know of any organization that will rebuild a house. There is Habitat for Humanity, but you have to meet certain requirements, and just because you apply doesn't mean you will be accepted and if you are accepted there is usually a quite a waiting list before your name comes up to have the house built.

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If you are planning on moving into an apartment, which is what I would do, you can go to the office of a nearby Salvation Army and ask for a voucher for free furniture and the furniture you need has to be the necessities, usually they don't consider things like a computer or TVs necessities. Most of the time for things like that you have to provide transportation to pick the items up. Also anybody that owns a home should have home owners insurance.

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January 2, 20152 found this helpful
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This same thing happened to a girl friend years ago but it was her young daughter that was disabled. They too lost everything including their miniature poodle [poor thing] it didn't make it out of the house. They went to the county they lived in and the Salvation Army for help.

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Call your social worker and let them know what has happened to you. Perhaps the YWCA could answer some of your questions also. Your in my thoughts and prayers at this most difficult time.

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January 4, 20152 found this helpful
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You could check out craigslist.org in your area and click on FREE category from the list. Browse to find anything you might need that someone wants to part with. Some have photos of the item.

Craigslist is also a good place to find used furnishings and you are given the option of whether you want to look at owner or business. Also, key in your town and state to see what is closest to you. Good luck Robin.

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December 6, 2015

My home burned down and I have no place to go. I was wondering how do I get help?

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November 29, 2017

I am looking for some help, supplies, workers, or even funds to help my sister and her husband. They purchased a home here in Muncie, Indiana and then went back to Florida to begin the moving process. In the meantime, lightning struck their Muncie home before they could purchase insurance.

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Now they are left trying to repair this home. Can you direct me to or know of community organizations that could help them?

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November 30, 20171 found this helpful
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Red Cross helped each individual $500 for fire (from a fellow family member who lived in Indiana).

You can check with the government + organizations for Indiana - www.in.gov/.../2410.htm

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December 2, 20172 found this helpful
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FEMA encourages fire victims to register for assistance. They have many programs there and offer all types of help. You can find out more here:
www.fema.gov/.../fire-victims-urged-register-assistance

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December 11, 2019

Where can we receive assistance? We're being torn out of the motel at 11 today. My wife is 71 years old, disabled, and in bad health and we have two dogs. No one will help.

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Help please.

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November 15, 2019

A dear friend of mine had her house burn down. She has 5 children all very young and no money to speak of. Is there somewhere for her to get any help?
She had no insurance on the home at the time of the fire and is now living in a two-bedroom home, trying to get by.
Please help.

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November 15, 20190 found this helpful
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The Red Cross is there to help after a house fire. You can go there to find shelter for the night and they will give you some vouchers to buy some clothes. I know they do not offer a lot but they do get you started. After this you will need to check on Criagslist in the free sections to find household items. You can also get help from Facebook and a few local orginatizations in your area. If you belong to a church many times people are willing to help or you can go to Freecycle and post your needs there.

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November 16, 20190 found this helpful
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You have a good heart to help your friend. It is going to be a long road to recovery and they will need ongoing support.

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My best suggestion is to start a Go Fund Me campaign AND open a special donation account at your local bank--she will have to go with you to do that as they will need her Social Security number. The account (in most cases) the account will not gain interest which could affect her taxes). Usually they don't charge a fee to set up the account.

Have her talk to her tax person BEFORE you do this so you can be sure not to screw up her taxes by doing this--this is the sad downside of trying to help someone--sometimes the tax structure will be an issue and the money will end up being taxed--so get that taken care of first...then...

For the Go Fund Me--Be sure to include lots of photos of the family, the site of the fire, and link news stores so people know this is a legit request. That is probably the most important thing--there have been so many scams like this that you have to show the news story to get people to care.

Once you get the Go Fund Me and the donation account set up, you will have to make it go viral on all of your (and their) social media accounts.

Be sure to tell people there are two ways to donate--older folks tend to prefer to take a check to the bank to help out, while younger folks will use Go Fund Me. Go Fund Me takes a fee for the service which a lot of people don't know...so if someone donates 100. Your friend will get a percentage of that. That is why the bank donation account is so important--they will get 100% of that money--no fees (at least where I am it was a fee free process).

Your friend will have to link the bank account to the Go Fund Me so she can get the Go Fund me Money--you do this as soon as the first donation is received. This is a critical step in the process.

Repost the social media pleas at least once a week until you reach your goal.

Also, go around to your local churches/synagogues/mosques and ask if you can post the information about the two campaigns in their bulletin. Some will, some won't but it will make them aware of the situation. Ask if they will hold a fund raiser to help the family--like a bake sale or flea market--some will, some won't.

Also, talk to the school where the children go and see if they can help--at least post the info so people know there are ways to help.

The last suggestion is to make up business cards (you can get the card stock at local office supply places). You type the info up about the Go FUnd me--give the exact link AND how to donate at the bank.

You do this in Microsoft Word using the template number from the box (you may have to download the template like if it comes from Avery or that other brand, which escapes me now) but that is free to do that.

Then pass the cards out to everyone you know.

People can be very generous so hopefully this will work for you. I have first hand knowledge that this process works.

Prayers and blessings for your friend.

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December 10, 2017

I am a single male, aged 35 with a small dog. I lost my mobile home to a fire. I had no insurance and lost everything. I also just lost my job.
I need help.

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December 12, 20172 found this helpful
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Red Cross would be one 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669).
Local churches should help.

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November 1, 2019

I recently was the victim of an arson attempt and I am wanting to move to another home for my safety, there is minor heat damage done to the back wall of our home and we completely lost a mobile home on this property as well. My question is, are there places were I can get a grant or a low interest loan for a down payment to get into another home? I was under the impression that the person I was buying this home from had it insured, but have since found that was not to be the case. Both my son and I are disabled and we need to move soon.

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November 1, 20190 found this helpful
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There are numerous places to apply but they all require someone to complete a lot of forms beginning with qualifying.
You can apply to several as one may be able to help while another may not have any available funds.
HUD may be able to put you on a list for subsidized housing which would be like rental but on a scale that matches your income.
Habitat for Humanity has programs that help people buy a home but they do require someone to have an income (job or other income) as there are monthly house payments but are lower than most mortgages.
I have some links that you can check out to see if you are interested in asking for their help.

www.habitat.org/

www.211unitedway.org/.../

www.hud.gov/.../contacts

www.needhelppayingbills.com/.../section_8_housing.html

thearc.org/.../

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November 1, 20191 found this helpful
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If you need immediate help after a fire the Red Corss is a great place to go. When you buy a home from a person it is not up to them to insure the home after it has been sold. On the other hand if they are hodling the deed to the property they must have insurance on the home if you do not put the insurance on the home yourself.

Getting a loan for a disable person is not as difficult as many think it is. Here is a great site that will help you out and explain how it works. themortgagereports.com/.../best-programs-for-getting-a-mortgage...

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May 20, 2020

I need help. My house burned down. And I don't know what to do. I have no family that can help.

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December 23, 2010

Can I get help if me and my baby were living at a house that got burned down with our things in it if our name isn't on the lease?

By seiricka seawright from Montgomery, AL

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December 23, 20100 found this helpful

Did the Red Cross step in with help. I used to work in a Red Cross office in SD and when people would lose everything in a fire, if they didn't have a place to go immediately we put them up in a motel for a short period of time, they also got vouchers for(if I remember right) two complete sets of clothes and a pair of shoes, depending on the weather vouchers for winter outdoor wear, and when they found a place of their own to live they could get vouchers for bedding and towels. This help was given for each member of a family. Call them and see what they say if they haven't already contacted the home owner. I don't know how it works when your name wasn't on the lease, from different things I have heard it isn't legal to live in a place if your name isn't on the lease or without the landlord's permission. But do check with the Red Cross.

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October 16, 2017

My sister-in-law was a victim of a house fire the other day. She lost everything. Unfortunately the house did not have insurance, so what are their other options for help as far as clothes, etc.? They literally lost everything.

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October 18, 20170 found this helpful
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it must be a terrible feeling to see everything you own just disappear but still, you have to be thankful that everyone is okay health wise.

  • The Red Cross is always the first place to seek help after a fire as they offer immediate help and some help for getting assistance after their help is exhausted.
  • They usually have a list that has names of organizations (in your area) that might be able to help as well as other suggestions. You can call and ask for this list or information.
  • Any government help is slow and generally you have to meet certain qualifications even for emergencies.
  • Local churches and local organizations offer the quickest help so maybe she should start with those.
  • Your local Craigslist and Freecycle are very good for cases like this as you can explain what happened, who is involved and what you need. People are usually quick to respond - items may not be new but should fill her immediate need.
  • The Salvation Army, Goodwill, Hospice Thrift stores, church thrift stores will usually always help with clothing and linens.
  • Another good place to ask for help is through the Next Door Neighborhood as this may get you into the area of the fire. here is a link to check this out.
  • nextdoor.com/
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April 1, 2018

How can I get help after a house fire with no insurance?

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April 1, 20181 found this helpful
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  • Red Cross will help you! They helped my sister when her apartment burned down, $500 per person involved.
  • Local charities and churches
  • Freecycle
  • Craigslist
  • Salvation Army
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April 6, 20180 found this helpful
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You say "help after a house fire with no insurance". Does that mean you need help with personal items, a place to stay or are you referring to help with rebuilding your house?

  • The suggestions given are great for personal help but if you need assistance with home repairs you may need to apply at one your local government agencies that offer this kind of service.
  • I believe the fire department and Red Cross has a list of agencies you can contact but you might want to ask Habitat for Humanity for help. They sometimes do this sort of work if the family meets their qualifications. You can find your local agency through this link.
  • www.programsforelderly.com/housing-habitat-for-humanity-critical...
  • FEMA also helps with fire victims and also has a list of who you might contact for help.
  • Try finding your local agency or call this number for assistance.
  • www.fema.gov/.../many-programs-aid-fire-victims
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The place where I was staying in Clark county in Washington had a house fire, and now I am temporarily housed in a luxury hotel. I am looking for a grant to rent this apartment with advance rent/deposits too. Does anyone know of any grants that are available for this need?

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February 13, 2018

My home was destroyed, because of a house fire. Where can I find financial assistance?

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February 13, 20180 found this helpful
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Basically the Red Cross can help you for the first 24 to 48 hours. They normally will put you up for the night, give you a place to sleep a voucher to get one outfit of clothes for each member of your family and a hot meal or two.

You'll actually need to go and see social services for more help on this matter. You can also try a few local churches in your area and go online to look on FereCycle to see if anyone is giving away some free things you can use. They will be happy to help you out in this situation.

As for the fire I hope you had homeowners insurance because you will need it now to file a claim to either rebuild your home or find a place for you and your family to live now.

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October 8, 2017

The Red Cross gave me a debit card and never put me up for a place to stay. I stayed with my daughter for a few days after. When the money was gone she wanted me to go. Now I'm back in my burned trailer. Everything is getting wet and I'm wet and cold. Where can I find help?

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October 9, 20172 found this helpful
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This is so sad and I am sorry your daughter won't allow you to stay with here. Here is some very important information to help you now.

  • After a fire the victim can get immediate assistance and also long term assistance. These programs are from a variety of private and public agencies.
  • In your state you will need to find the Human Resources Administration. If you had told us what state you lived in I could of helped you find this in your area.
  • As you know the American Red Cross has funds available for fire victims. I know you have visited them once and they gave you a few vouchers. I would suggest going back there again and see if they can offer you temperary housing or shelter until you can get your trailer fixed.
  • The Department of Housing Preservation and Development is set up to help people recover and relocate after a fire. Again you will need to find the office in your area or state that is there to help you.
  • According to many websites and informaion about fire victims it seems the American Red Cross is responsibe to feed and cloths you and allow you to stay in one of their emergency shelters.
  • The Salvation Army is another good agency that helps fire victims and gives relief. I would also contact them for help.
  • You can also go to the United Way for help. They are there to help you out in your time of need.
  • FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency is a government agency that offers temporary housing assistance for people who have been displaced after a house fire. You will need to contact this agency because many people don't realize that disaster assistance is available to them. They are an excellent agency and they will help you out. I would contact them and find out what they can do for you.
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