WHO ARE WE & WHY ARE WE RUNNING THIS FUNDRAISER ?
My name is Alicia Elezovic and I work for Raine & Horne, Brunswick real-estate agency. My younger sister Celeste Elezovic - who also works at Raine & Horne, Brunswick - doubled as the Property Manager and Caretaker of 47 John Street in Brunswick East. Not only did Celeste manage the entire block but she also lived there, it was her home for the past two years. I have also spent countless days at John Street before this event and I too personally have gotten to know many of the tenants. Its hard to describe the beautiful bunch of people who lived there and how friendly all were with each other over the last couple years - through covid lockdowns and all. The fact that any one of these innocent people could've been seriously hurt - if not even lost their lives has deeply effected not just me, my family and our office - but out tight knit Northside community. Last Friday 8th of April - I heard through my sister that the tenants from UNIT 7, a couple called Ed & Miranda had literally lost everything but the clothes on their back. I got in contact with them - and Ed sent me the above photos of what was their home. I immediately wanted to help and thought of raising money for them - knowing it'd be a huge challenge for them to re-build their lives alone as unfortunately - like most tenants, did not have contents insurance.
WHO WILL THE MONEY GO TO?
While all nine townhouses were badly smoke and water damaged - with Townhouses 6 - mother and daughter & Townhouse 8- couple, Stuart and Isabelle severely so - Townhouse 7 - home to couple Ed and Miranda, lost everything. We have spoken individually to all the tenants at 47 John Street to confirm how the money raised should be allocated - and every unit told us the same thing and we agreed on the following:
The highest percentage of the money will firstly be allocated to UNIT 7 - Ed and Miranda. Then the second highest percentage between UNIT 6 + 8. The remaining money will be evenly distributed between the remaining seven UNITS. For example, if we raise $7,000 the distribution will be as follows:
UNIT 7 - ED & MIRANDA: $4000
UNIT 6 - MOTHER & DAUGHTER: $800
UNIT 8- STUART & ISABELLE: $800
REMAINING SIX UNITS: $233.30 each.
If we do raise $10,000 or even over that amount we will follow the above percentage allocations.
We will be directly transferring this money into the tenants nominated bank accounts and the tenants will spend the money on the essential living items that were destroyed in the fire.
PLEASE NOTE - Our real-estate agency IS NOT taking any money from this fundraiser! 100% of the donations made are going directly to the tenants.
WHAT ARE RAINE & HORNE, BRUNSWICK DOING TO HELP?
Our Property Management Team are assisting all tenants relocate by prioritising their applications should they apply for any rental properties under our management + any other Raine & Horne offices across Victoria. We have also spoken with other agencies too making them aware of the urgency to house these tenants should they apply for a property they manage.
All bonds to be refunded in full once police authorities give access to tenants to remove their belongings from townhouses. Any rent paid from 7th of April onwards was refunded.
Raine & Horne head-office - supporting via donations beginning this week.
Our own office will make a donation via Go Fund Me also- this will be public.
We are also managing the Go-Fund-Me - have launched and managed paid promotion across Social Media to raise awareness. We will be accepting and storing any physical/non perishable food item donations at our office in Brunswick and dealing with all communication with the public.
HOW ELSE CAN YOU HELP?
If you're not in a position to make a monetary donation but wish to still help you can. We have spoken to our tenants who have said the following would help them:
-Non perishable food
-Assistance with moving furniture out of the apartments once police grant access (professional moving companies are very expensive)
-Any essential house-hold items, such as cleaning/dining/kitchen/bedroom/bathroom
If you are able to assist with the above - please firstly call me, Alicia on 0431 431 671 so I can confirm and coordinate with the tenants. And then we are happy to store small physical items at our office on 778-784 Sydney Road, Brunswick.
This Saturday 16th of April - Sani - an incredible local cafe on 63 Lygon St, Brunswick East have generously offered to donate $1 from every coffee purchased that day towards this Go-Fund-Me. If you live locally - why not get your coffee from Sani this Saturday. Search them on Instagram @sanimelbourne They are open from 8am till 3pm.
If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me directly. Our sole focus has been to help the tenants most effected. Our goal to help get them back on their feet as quickly as possible, This is an unprecedented event and it's been a steep learning curve navigating the best way to help the tenants most in need. We are so deeply moved by the love and support shown thus far - and on behalf of all the tenants at 47 John Street, Brunswick East - Thank-You. Your help, your kind words, your donations mean more to them than can be put into words.
On a personal final note - I have always lived in the Inner-North and been so proud to call here home. From the local businesses to the people - I've always said what a truly special community we have - but as traumatic this fire has been for all, it's affirmed even further what an incredible community we have. I wouldn't call anywhere else home. All my love and thanks to you.
First photo via Jacqui Felgate