NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Six Metro Nashville Public Schools students are without a home after a weekend apartment fire displaced residents in 16 units in Bellevue.
Staff with the Hillwood Cluster Community Room, which opened last year, are stepping up to offer resources to students and their families.
Community Achieves site manager Jeremy Quiñonez said many of the families have had to move in with neighbors, including one apartment where nine people, including MNPS students, are now living.
“They heard the door banging, so they just ran out as soon as they realized it was already smoking in their unit. They got out but nothing in their hands, just the clothes they had on their back when they were sleeping,” Quiñonez said about a family of six who were displaced.
The Community Room is now connecting families displaced with a variety of resources, including food, clothing, laundry services, and furniture. The community room also provides mental health resources to students.
Counselor Geneva Rambo with STARS of Nashville has spoken with several students displaced by the fire.
“That traumatic experience of being woken up the middle of the night, they are just waking up still with the panic of, ‘I’ve never experienced this,’ being waken up, the knock on the door, so some of them still just need that counseling aspect,” Rambo explained. “Any loss, you just want to know that, at some point, things are going to be okay. So, for me it’s just giving the reassurance that things are going to be okay and that you have the support of someone.”
The Community Room at Hillwood High School is seeking teen clothing, bedding, and food donations to help the families displaced.