More work needed before Pine Ridge residents can return home

Salvation Army employee Kayla Reeve, left, and volunteer Debbie Jenkins participate in a prayer before serving food to displaced Pine Ridge residents at a temporary Red Cross Shelter at Lakeview Arena on Monday. The Salvation Army is asking local businesses and restaurants to consider sponsoring a meal at the shelter. (Journal photo by Lisa Bowers)

MARQUETTE — Residents of Pine Ridge Apartments can’t go home yet, but Marquette Housing Commission staff are hard at work seeking temporary shelter for displaced residents.

While the temporary Red Cross shelter remains open at Lakeview Arena, as of Wednesday, 14 residents were able to be placed at Lake Superior Village, another complex operated by the housing commission, Marquette County Emergency Management Coordinator Teresa Schwalbach said.

The residents will be able to move from the Red Cross Shelter into Lake Superior Village over the course of the next couple of days, she said.

Schwalbach said the representatives from the office of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, had met with Pine Ridge officials “to discuss providing assistance for those who will be displaced.”

“At this point, they are still waiting for assessments regarding the fire alarms, the elevator, and the air quality,” Schwalbach said.

A fire on the roof of the nine-story 140-unit structure on July 30 left its 145 residents seeking alternative housing. While many are staying with family and friends, and others are staying in area hotels, about three dozen have been staying in the temporary Red Cross Shelter at Lakeview Arena.

The cause of the blaze is still undetermined, Marquette Fire Department officials told The Mining Journal on Tuesday.

Sheri Kromberg, president of the Pine Ridge Residents Council, posted information about rent payments on the Marquette County Emergency Management Facebook page on Wednesday.

“No one will be charged rent until they are in either an apartment in Pine Ridge or in a place at Lake Superior Village,” Kromberg said. “If you move into one of those during the month of August it will be prorated.”

Area organizations including The Red Cross, The Salvation Army as well as several area businesses have come to the aid of residents.

Anyone wishing to help can bring food items or monetary donations to the Salvation Army locations at 1009 W. Baraga Ave. in Marquette or 322 Division St. in Ishpeming.

Assistance can also be offered via donations to a special account at River Valley Bank entitled MHC Pine Ridge or direct contributions to the American Red Cross.

Local grocery store gift cards are also being accepted at the Lake Superior Village office at 125 Dobson Place in Marquette between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday to help residents with the purchase of food and other essentials.

Officials from the Marquette Housing Commission were contacted for this story, but could not be reached before press time.

Lisa Bowers can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is lbowers@miningjournal.net.