Discussing the future of Summit Avenue Apartments

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — A group of local leaders and professionals have created an open space to discuss a tragedy that’s impacted a Greensboro community.

Back in May 2018, five children were killed in an apartment fire at the Summit Avenue Apartments.

“It almost been a year and we haven’t seen a lot of movement in terms of change. We’re afraid it can happen again,” said Jeremy Rinker, a UNCG assistant professor.

A year after the tragedy, the idea was to create a space to have open dialogues on the reasons behind the tragedy and how it could be prevented.

“After a traumatic event like this people just kind of get paralyzed. And they’re unsure what to do, so the reason that we feel like this is so successful is that it brings people together and they can kind of slow down a little bit think about what happened,” said Daniel Rhodes, a UNCG professor who works at the Department of Social Work.

Since the fatal fire, the property has seen its share of problems. The city condemned 40 units, issued fines and multiple violations were addressed.

Despite the steps in the right direction, the group believes there’s work that needs go be done.

A focus is looking at the psychological and social impacts the tragedy had on the community and figuring out how to reverse the damage.

“At this point, the process was to sit and have a talking piece and allow people to really vent their concerns, their frustrations, their anger over what happened,” Rinker said.

The group plans to have more meetings in the future to continue discussing the healing process, provide resources and finding restoration for the things they believe went wrong.

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