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October 11, 2022

Worcester city councilor wants to start an emergency fund for displaced people

Photo | Daniel Mesa-Buitrago Worcester City Councilor Etel Haxhiaj speaks at the union rally. She has asked the City Manager to look into an emergency fund for people impacted by an emergency of natural disaster.

Following high-profile disasters that left city residents without a home, Worcester City Councilor Etel Haxhiaj has requested the city manager’s office to work on a report looking into establishing a trust fund, which the city would control, to supply survivors a one-time payment for basic needs after a disaster or emergency.  

Haxhiaj, District 5 councilor, put in an order for Wednesday’s City Council meeting requesting the city manager explore how to create the fund by talking to other towns and cities like Ficthburg and Leicester about their own funds. Haxhiaj told the Worcester Business Journal she hopes to create a self-sustaining fund that includes partnerships with the business community in the city.

The request comes on the heels of deadly fires throughout the city and the roof collapse at 267 Mill Street. Haxhiaj said survivors often don’t get donations or insurance money in a timely manner and need assistance right away, which this fund would help with.

In March, Fitchburg set up an emergency fund in conjunction with the United Way of Fitchburg for the survivors of a fire at an apartment complex at 65 Carriageway Drive where four people were injured and almost 50 families were displaced.

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