The recent Christmas Day fire in Palos Hills has brought out the best of the Community. City officials and staff, concerned residents, City businesses and local service organizations have all stepped up to assist those residents displaced by the fire with housing and every day needs. After the initial response by the North Palos Fire Protection District and police, building and public works departments, many people and groups have stepped up to help these Palos Hills residents.
Throughout the past week, the City’s Resource and Recreation Department in conjunction with the Mayor’s Office has served as the liaison between the Red Cross and many of those residents involved with the fire. The Department has also worked closely with the Kiwanis Club in providing gift cards to those needing assistance with everyday needs such as clothes, food and toiletries. The Department has also worked extensively with Beds Plus in Lagrange to help residents with housing, food and hotel stays.
The City’s Building Department has communicated regularly with Green Oaks and Scenic Tree Apartments to help residents secure new housing. Both Green Oaks and Scenic Tree leadership have stepped up to make the application process run smoothly. The Building Commissioner is working closely with the Restoration Company and Association to begin rebuilding the condominiums destroyed by the fire.
Mayor Jerry Bennett allocated City disaster money to help pay for four days worth of meals for those residents still residing in hotels. The Hills Kiwanis Club has been instrumental in securing donations for the displaced residents. The number of individuals donating either gift cards or money has been amazing. In addition, several service organizations have made donations to the fund. The Hickory Hills Sertoma Club in conjunction with Hills Kiwanis also paid for three additional nights’ stay at local hotels. In the future, we plan to recognize those who made donations to the Kiwanis Club.
The City would like to again thank those residents who helped those displaced by setting up donations at New Beginnings Church. The outpouring of support by those who donated has been heartwarming to see.
Many of the residents have found either temporary or permanent housing. Some hope to be able to return to their homes at Green Oaks Condominiums once they have been completely restored. We hope to see them back in the Palos Hills permanently in the future. Again, thank you to everyone from the Palos Hills Community who has stepped up to assist these residents. It has truly been remarkable to see this Community in action.