Some businesses around Dallas and Deep Ellum are collaborating on a relief effort for residents of the Elan City Lights building that was crushed by a crane in a storm on June 9.
The building was deemed uninhabitable, rendering its 500-plus residents homeless. Greystar, the building's owner, allowed residents to collect some of their personal belongings from the property, and may allow them to return. But according to estimates, that could take up to six months, if it happens at all.
Dallasites101, a local events and media company, organized the Elan City Lights Relief effort, in which it's culling various offers and donations.
"We feel for anyone who was devastated by the storm," the group says. "We started a crowdsourced Excel doc, so businesses and individuals may chime in with how they can help. Help can look like pet care, housing, transportation, clothing, and food."
Their crowdsourced Excel doc allows contributors to list companies, groups, and services. Donations offered so far include cheap rooms at local hotels, discounts on counseling sessions, apartment relocation services, free wifi, and coffee.
Donors can also reach out to them via email@example.com.
So far, five businesses have volunteered to serve as drop-off points:
- Jack Mason Brand, 3030 Canton St. #130, from 8:30 am-6 pm
- CENTRL Office, 750 North St. Paul St. #200, from 8:30 am-5:30 pm
- The Barre Code Dallas — Design District (clothing, shoes, and toiletries only), 1430 Dragon St. #25, hours of operation vary daily
- Dallas Iron Fitness, 4101 Bryan St., hours of operation vary daily
- Common Desk Deep Ellum, 2919 Commerce St.
Each location will verify that only displaced residents receive donated items. They'll also check for quality and share the inventory so that residents visit the right location based on their needs.
Jack Mason, a watch company, has warehouse space and is serving as the main receiving point. Alexis Smith, who works in their marketing department, says that donations have already surpassed their expectations.
"We've received everything from iPads to deodorant to brand new mattresses," Smith says. "It's not used goods. People seem to be going out and buying new things for others."
"They're our neighbors, and we wanted to help out," she says. "We met two people who'd just moved into their apartment on Wednesday, they went out and bought all new furniture, and that's all gone. Most of the people in the building were young professionals just getting on their feet."
Common Desk Deep Ellum has also set up a box to receive donations beginning June 13, which they'll transport to Jack Mason.
The most helpful items are gift cards to places like Target, Walmart, Uber, and Lyft. But clothes, food, reusable water bottles, phone chargers, dog food, kitchen supplies, toiletries, blankets, and pillows are all welcome.
"Residents can not currently access their apartments or cars," the company says. "That means, they have lost everything (for now) that they were unable to grab in the moment — it might be six months until they can access their belongings.
"Let’s come together to help our friends who have been affected."