CHICAGO (CBS) — Nearly a week after a house explosion rocked a Marengo neighborhood, the community is coming together to help the dozens who were affected.
“We don’t need stuff anymore. It’s just the financial need,” said Jeff Perkins, President, Board of Directors, M.O.R.E Center.
“We’ve had an outpouring of assistance of all kinds. At this point, we are directing people to our website for monetary donations.”
Perkins said the community has really rallied around the dozens of residents who were affected. In all, six homes were demolished, 80 damaged after a house exploded on 7th Circle on Sunday. The homeowners were on vacation at the time. Miraculously, no one was seriously hurt.
“It’s pretty crazy when you look at it. It’s something you don’t expect to see when you see a war zone in the middle of town. We have a lot of families who aren’t allowed in their houses. We are struggling to make sure everyone’s got their alternative living set up. We’ve put them up in hotels, while we work out the details. They have their health, but not much else,” he said.
Perkins said restaurants, churches and community groups have overwhelmingly stepped up to help. They are now collecting gift cards and monetary donations for the Marengo Disaster Fund. While many of the displaced homeowners have insurance, Perkins said the process can take a long time.
“These people have their health, but not much else,” he said.
The M.O.R.E. Center is a Marengo nonprofit at 829 Greenlee Street.
Checks can be made out to M.O.R.E. and designated “Marengo Disaster Fund.” For more information, contact the M.O.R.E. Center at (815) 568-7950.