On Wednesday, officials with United Way announced that the agency will distribute more than $50,000 in $250 stipends to individuals and families who were evacuated last week from McDougald Terrace due to the housing complex’s high levels of carbon monoxide and mold.

The nonprofit is accepting donations for the residents through the Durham One Fund to help the displaced residents, according to a United Way of the Greater Triangle statement.

More than 170 families have been moved to area hotels since January 3, when the Durham Housing Authority began a voluntary evacuation in the wake of concerns about elevated and potentially dangerous carbon monoxide levels. At least 40 more families are on a waiting list to receive hotel vouchers. 

United Way officials are relying on Ashley Canady, president of the McDougald Terrace Housing Council, to help identify residents who can use the $250 stipends to purchase food and other personal items.

The nonprofit is also asking the community to donate “greatly needed” supplies such as used clothing, shoes, and jackets, along with unopened toiletries, feminine products, baby food formula, and non-perishable food items.

The Durham One Fund was created by the United Way of the Greater Triangle and the Triangle Community Foundation, along with city and county agencies, following the April 2019 gas explosion downtown.

The fund has so far distributed more than $160,000 to support individuals and businesses affected by the disaster that killed two people and destroyed several buildings.

“[McDougald residents] 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 for,” United Way president and chief executive officer Eric Guckian said in a press release.

Donations can be dropped off to the Durham Housing Authority at the T.A. Grady Recreation Center at 531 Lakeland Street.

United Way officials are also asking residents who are involved with a nonprofit or government entity that has experienced an unbudgeted or unforeseen increase in critical services as a result of the evacuation to contact Nick Allen, the agency’s chief program officer, at nallen@unitedwaytriangle.org., for Durham One Fund Support.

Contact Thomasi McDonald at tmcdonald@indyweek.com. 

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