Griggs Farm Fire Relief Fund challenge raises $28,210 so far

Bags of donated clothes line the hall of Trinity Church as volunteers begin preparing them for pick up. Photo: Krystal Knapp.

In the past two weeks, Princeton area community members have donated more than $28,200 to the Griggs Farm Fire Relief Fund.

An anonymous Princeton couple has offered to match up to $36,000 in donations received or postmarked by Jan. 23.

So far, 111 donors have responded, with gifts ranging from $25 to $5,000, a representative for Princeton Community Housing said. Most gifts have been in the $50 to $200 range.

The donations will help pay for housing and other needs for the 34 residents displaced by the Dec. 27 fire at Griggs Farm. The residents had been living in affordable housing apartments owned and managed by Princeton Community Housing. While some displaced residents are staying temporarily with family or friends, Princeton Community Housing is voluntarily paying for the remaining majority to live temporarily at an extended stay hotel. Gifts to the Griggs Farm Fire Relief Fund enable the organization to lengthen the term of this emergency housing and provide for other needs for the displaced residents until each resident can secure longer-term temporary housing.

The reconstruction of the damaged Griggs Farm building, which had 24 apartments, will take an estimated ten months. Princeton Community Housing is working with other community organizations and the Princeton Human Services Department to identify local places where the displaced residents can stay for an extended time, to keep children in the Princeton public school district and maintain employment and other community ties.

Individuals or organizational representatives offering housing options should contact  Princeton Community Housing. Princeton Community Housing’s wait list for its affordable units is 12 to 24 months and all the non-profit’s other units are full, so the agency needs to search for other housing options for the displaced residents.

To make a tax-deductible gift to the Griggs Farm Fire Relief Fund challenge:

1. Mail or bring your check, made payable to Princeton Community Housing, to:
Princeton Community Housing, One Monument Hall (Lower Level), Princeton, NJ 08540

2. Visit the website online and pay via credit card.

In both cases, please indicate clearly the purpose of your gift: “Griggs Farm Fire Relief Fund.”