Wedgwood residents to leave hotels, or pay to stay

Majority of displaced tenants in hotels have found alternate housing

CASTLE HILLS, TX – In an emergency update on its website, Wedgwood apartment management notified displaced residents to "make arrangements to either move from the hotel beginning Jan. 20 or arrange with the hotel to extend your stay at your cost."

Apartment management will pay for the residents' hotel stays through the 20th, the update says.

Case managers, with the nonprofit BCFS will continue working with residents well after they check out.

"They're the professionals at this. They will track them, keep in touch with them," said Diane Pfeil, Castle Hills city manager. "And until they've made the transition complete, wherever it may be, they're going to be working with these individuals."

The apartment's emergency update also said hopefully "residents can briefly enter the building beginning in two weeks" in order to "select essential belongings."

It goes on to say, "Given the condition of the building, it will be many weeks before all belongings can be retrieved."

As of Wednesday, 64 of the 100 residents staying in hotels had found alternate housing.

BCFS case managers and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services are helping tenants relocate.

Many of them have very little possessions, if any, to help make a new home.

That's where the San Antonio Furniture Bank comes in.

"The case managers bring the clients here, and they get to shop and pick out whatever goes on the inside of a house," said Beth Webster Wright, founder and executive director of the San Antonio Furniture Bank. "And that's at no cost to the client."

All of the furniture items are donated by the community.

"I think that the clients that are coming in are feeling a little bit more comfortable that there's this resource for them," Wright said. "Because they have nothing."

Three Wedgwood fire victims remain hospitalized.

"You know, I've said from the beginning that we're trying to make them whole again," Pfeil said. "That's our focus right now."

The Red Cross is also providing some long-term assistance. 



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