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Charles Village Residents Work To Help Those Displaced By Street Collapse

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s been almost a week since a frightening street collapse sent cars parked along 26th Street crashing onto the CSX tracks and leaving dozens of families unable to stay in their homes. Now members of Charles Village are stepping in to help those who are displaced.

Rochelle Ritchie has more on those efforts.

It could be more than a month before those who live on the colorful block of 26th Street are allowed back inside their homes. Residents who work and live in the area say it takes a village to help those in need and they are hoping their efforts take away some of the stress.

The street collapse was seen nationwide.

It was almost a week ago when 26th Street between Charles and St. Paul streets came crashing down onto the CSX tracks. Several mangled cars had to be pulled from the rubble and families who live less than 100 feet away from the collapse are still not allowed back home.

“Our lives, our jobs, school–it’s all just stopped,” said Leigh Truelove.

Residents who were displaced because of the street collapse were told it could be almost 40 days before they are allowed back into their homes, so the community has come to their aid by raising local funds, and local businesses are now willing to donate some of their profits to help.

The owner of Sweet 27 at the corner of Howard and 27th Street say those affected are some of his friends and best customers.

“A couple of them always hang out here and I talk to them and I thought I could help,” said Richard D’Souza.

D’Souza will donate some of the money earned by his business to residents now staying in hotels, with friends or relatives.

“There’s a fund called `It Takes a Village’ and we are going to pay toward that fund 30 percent of all our food sales Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday,” said D’Souza.

Construction crews are now working to stabilize what is left of the street.

“We will build a wall that will consist of 65, 70 foot piles that we will be drilling and installing over the next few weeks,” said an official.

In the meantime, the homes are being guarded by Baltimore City Police as family members make their homes in hotels, with relatives or friends.

City officials are promising to work as quickly as possible to get people back home.

“Everyone who is working on the project has been instructed to make this a top priority,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

The Department of Transportation plans to release a more comprehensive report on the construction efforts underway on Tuesday.

In addition to eating at Sweet 27 Restaurant and Bar on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday this week, you can make private donations through check or money order. Write “It Takes The Village” in the memo section of a check and mail to:

Sandra Sparks
CVCA President
2942 Guilford Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21218

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