Andrea Ethier is overwhelmed after she and her husband lost their home when a fire ripped through Villa Polonia on Little River Road Saturday.
“The things that I need are now taken away and it’s very difficult,” said Ethier.
Making matters worse is the Ethiers don’t have tenant insurance and are both physically challenged.
They need an accessible home which their daughters don’t have. They are currently lodging at a friends’ house is accessible but not practical for the long term.
“I can’t stay there forever because I need special housing, housing that can deal with me,” Ethier said.
Family friend Dave Harshaw, who is also physically challenged, understands and has been trying to help the Ethiers.
“It’s not like you can put them in a hotel and say, ‘there you go,’” he said. “That’s not enough. You need actual accessible bathrooms and showers and this and that which they had at their home.”
Andrea’s daughter Teri isn’t sure what their next move is and suspects her parents could be out of Villa Polonia for as long as a year.
“The best case scenario is that the property management finds something temporary for them to go until the building is repaired,” she said.
There might be a short-term solution at the old Alpha House in Forest Glade. The building, located next to the tennis courts, used to help those who were physically challenged.
Much of the features are still in place inside the building which is now run by the Matthew House. They provide shelter for refugees.
The Ethier family has been offered a room according to executive director Mike Morency.
“Here there would be just a room with a shared kitchen, shower, those kinds of things but it is all accessible so that would work for them better than where they are right now I guess,” said Morency.
He says there is a maximum stay of one year. With the Canadian-U.S. border closed Morency says Matthew House is willing to accommodate the Ethiers for as long as they can.
“I would hope in three to six month either their apartment, where they were living, is gonna be put back together or a landlord in the community steps up,” he said.
The Ethiers are considering a move to the Matthew House as their short-term solution while they wait for Villa Polonia to be repaired.