Community rallies behind residents left homeless by Harrison House’s closure

Community steps in to aid residents abruptly kicked out of Harrison House

CORYDON, IN (WAVE) - It’s been nearly two weeks since residents of Harrison House have been able to come home.

The apartment complex was shut down suddenly February 14 and residents told to immediately leave.

“Said we had maybe 10 minutes to get what we needed and get out,” said Marion Strauss, a resident of Harrison House. That was all the warning Strauss said he and other residents got to leave their homes.

"I think it shocked all of us really," Strauss said.

"Many of them were physically weeping and just in fear for what tomorrow held. They really didn't have any idea. It was an extremely sad situation," said Sean Davis, Harrison County YMCA pastor.

The Harrison House abruptly closed its doors on Feb. 14.
The Harrison House abruptly closed its doors on Feb. 14. (Source: Rachael Krause)

After getting a call about what was happening from Harrison County Prosecutor Otto Schalk, pastor Sean Davis jumped into action with other church and community leaders. Together, they rallied to find help and resources for the roughly two dozen suddenly homeless residents.

Help from county leaders led residents to find temporary housing in a hotel in town. A storage facility donated space to residents to store their belongings. Immediately, collections were taken up around town, raising money and supplies.

For residents like Strauss, that community support makes a world of difference.

"A bunch of us would just simply have been down and out, down and out. I know I would have been because I had no place to go," Strauss said.

Finding new housing takes time and paperwork and money that folks on fixed-incomes don’t have right away. Davis says finding new homes for those residents is their biggest priority right now.

“We’re excited, about several folks probably about a half a dozen now have found housing,” Davis said. What happened to these residents is tough, he said, but seeing the community come together in their time of need has been encouraging.

"It meant a lot to me. And I praise God for everything that these guys are doing. You know, it's really been the Lord's blessing for what they've done," Strauss said. "For stepping in, helping us, making sure we had a place to stay, food in our mouth and our laundry done, that's really the lord's blessing."

Fire Chief Jon Saulman said Harrison House may be able to reopen and residents move back in. Before that can happen, Saulman said they’ve asked the building owner to meet a list of improvements to the building, making needed changes to the facility’s wiring and smoke detectors among other items.

Strauss said with the uncertainty surrounding the future of his longtime home, he said he's just grateful to have the community's support in finding a new one.

If you want to help donate to help provide supplies for displaced residents, you can donate to 4:34 Ministries and specify the money go toward residents via their Facebook page or by sending money payable to 434 Ministries and putting Harrison House on the memo line of the check to:

434 Ministries

P.O. Box 3072

Corydon, IN 47112

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