Austin resident Ruby Armstead lost everything she and her sons owned to a fire that occurred at their place of residence back in February. The fire occurred at 5635 W. Madison St. Armstead and her two sons, ages 12 and 14, had been residents for the past three years.

Armstead said she has no idea how the fire started. “It started in the hallway by my third floor apartment,” she said.

The only help Armstead has received thus far was from the Red Cross, the same night of the incident. She received hotel accommodations and a voucher for one day. However, when South Austin Coalition’s Theresa Welch-Davis did a follow-up call to the Red Cross to see if there was additional help that could be provided, she was told the Red Cross could not help any further.

The owners of the building, Humboldt Ridge Apartments, relocated Ruby and her two sons to another apartment within the complex, however, the family is currently without furniture or basic necessities and they are sleeping on the floor.

A representative at Humboldt Ridge Apartments, 1816 N. St. Louis, and was told that they still do not know how the fire started and their insurance company was handling the investigation. The person also stated that the burned out apartment would eventually be refurbished.

“We have a single mother with two young boys that she is raising to be upstanding young men and does not want them to become caught up in crime or drugs. They are at that critical age for gang recruitment and, since the fire, the boys have no change of clothing and Ruby tries to wash what they have each evening,” said Welch-Davis.

South Austin Coalition is trying to help the family and is calling on the community to donate whatever it can. Shoe sizes for the boys are 7 and 5 ½. size. There clothing size is 14/16 boys. Their mother’s clothing size is 13/14 with a shoe size of 9.

All donations should be taken to South Austin Coalition offices at 5660 W. Madison St. For more information, call 773-287-4570.