The Phinney Neighborhood Association, which has been overseeing fundraising efforts since the March 9 Greenwood explosion that destroyed three businesses, damaged 50 more, and displaced a dozen residents from their apartments, has made the initial disbursement of donated funds.
From the PNA:
Today, The Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) will disburse an initial $64,000 to 12 evacuated residents and 30 displaced employees from the March 9 gas explosion in Greenwood to address their immediate needs.
In the aftermath of the explosion, PNA established the Greenwood Relief Fund and has been collecting donations from individuals, businesses and community groups. Donations are still coming in and so far, the fund has reached $144,933, which includes contributions from individuals, businesses and various benefits and fundraisers hosted by the community. One hundred percent of the PNA’s Greenwood Relief Fund will go to relief efforts.
In addition, $47,202 was raised from a GoFundMe account set up by a community member to help employees of damaged businesses, which the PNA was asked to oversee.
The explosion displaced 12 residents in one apartment building, damaged two other apartment buildings and 53 businesses. Three businesses were completely destroyed (Quick Stop, Neptune Coffee, and Mr. Gyros), four others remain closed (Insurrection, Gorditos, G & O Family Cyclery and The Angry Beaver) and one has temporarily relocated (Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas). Thirty employees experienced a loss of income or jobs.
The PNA, working with the City of Seattle and the Red Cross, has been in contact with the owners of the businesses and the residents displaced by the blast to determine the extent of the damage, their needs, and the response required going forward.
The PNA has convened the Greenwood Relief Advisory Board, consisting of business and community members, to determine how best to distribute the funds. Board members are: Lee Harper, PNA; Jeff Cornejo, PNA; Emilia Jones, PNA; Kelly Kasper, HT2 Consulting Services; Bryan Miller, Naked City Brewery; Jamie Clausen, Phinney Estate Law; Ed Medeiros, community member; Alicia Diefenbach, Verity Credit Union; Tim Corrigan, Umpqua Bank; and Sondra Firestein, Pursuit Concierge.
The advisory board has prioritized the needs for initial fund distribution in the following order: displaced residents, employees who are still out of work, and businesses.
Intermediate-term needs of businesses are still being determined as businesses work with insurance companies and assess their losses. The advisory board will take this information into account as distribution decisions are made.
The PNA will continue to update the community and raise funds through its relief webpage at www.phinneycenter.org/greenwoodrelief. Benefits and fundraisers hosted by the community and resources for those affected are listed on this page as well.