Victims of a devastating row house fire in Allentown can now receive free counseling for post-traumatic stress and anxiety from Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Allentown.
The Fountain Street fire destroyed 10 houses and displaced 47 people from 13 families. Anyone affected by the fire is eligible for counseling and case management services, including neighbors in the immediate area.
“We know that a disaster like this can take a tremendous emotional toll on people,” said Rob Nicolella, Catholic Charities executive director. “Our trained counselors and case managers are here to help.”
The counseling is being funded through an emergency grant from Catholic Charities USA, Nicolella said. Officials of the local Catholic Charities office applied for the grant immediately after identifying the need.
Catholic Charities will coordinate with United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, the American Red Cross of the Lehigh Valley-Bucks Chapter, and the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley. These agencies already are working on collecting and disbursing donations to those impacted.
Catholic Charities is a nonprofit social service agency caring for needy people in Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Carbon and Schuylkill counties, regardless of their religious affiliation. Among its services are feeding the hungry, helping veterans in danger of becoming homeless, counseling families and students, caring for the elderly, and offering service for pregnant women in need of support.
Anyone affected by the fire that needs free counseling may call Catholic Charities at 610-435-1541.