Social Workers meet with Patten Towers victims to find temporary - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Social Workers meet with Patten Towers victims to find temporary housing

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Problems continue for Patten Towers residents.

They were forced out of their homes late Tuesday night after a fire in the building, and it could be weeks or months before they can return.

On Saturday, social workers were on hand at the Red Cross shelter, where more than 100 of them are staying, to help them find a temporary home.

"I just wish we could all move back in our own places, and I hope it's very soon," said Patten Towers resident Janice Brooks.

Brooks might not get her wish for a month or so, but she'll soon get out of the Red Cross shelter.

Residents lined up outside a closed room on Saturday where Patten Towers owner PK Management set up meetings between residents and social workers to help them find temporary housing. Residents said the social workers took down a list of needed medications, offered counseling and talked about potential housing situations.

"Right now they're looking at three or four different scenarios simultaneously: the needs of the people that are here now as it relates to their medicines or personal needs that are in the building," said Jeff Cannon, Deputy Chief of Staff to Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke's office.

He said he and a few others from the Berke Administration are on hand to serve as a line of communication between the residents and PK.

"We don't have a lot of jurisdiction over this. Our concerns are for the residents, and they're doing everything that we're asking on behalf of the residents," Cannon said.

Cannon couldn't give us an exact time table of when Patten Towers will be ready for the residents to move back into the building. He mentioned a number of problems, one of which could take six to eight weeks to fix.

PK Management officials wouldn't speak with Channel 3 today. They first talked to their tenants on Friday, which was three days after the fire.

"Could they be doing more? Yes, but we're focusing on the residents as much as possible," Cannon said.

But residents like Janice Brooks said she's just happy to finally see some action from PK. "At least we know they are trying to do something for us. It might not be when right when we want it, but it will be there," she said.

Mayor Berke's office says those staying at the shelter will be moved to hotels Monday.

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