Tenants of the Napa Self Storage facility are still trying to recover from the earthquake that hit in September 2014. The self storage facility was among several businesses in the Napa area that were affected by the 6.0 magnitude earthquake. Located at Building 900, 200 tenants’ belongings are still trapped inside while they struggle to raise the funds needed to recover them.
The efforts to remove belongings will cost a total of 160,000 and the tenants need to raise an additional $91,000 to add to the already collected $55,000 in order to pay to have their belongings removed from the damaged building. The facility’s owners have already pledged approximately 23,100 to help with the recovery efforts.
When residents were informed in January that they would have to come up with the money or risk their items being lost forever in the self storage facility, some became quite creative in order to raise funds. In March, tenant Rob Frias made and sold t-shirts in order to raise money to help with the initiative. After he received a $100 donation from a friend, Frias printed shirts that read “WE NEED HELP” and “EARTHQUAKE STORAGE REFUGEES”. There was also a GoFundMe page set up in order to aid with the raising of the funds.
Despite the most valiant of efforts, the residents are still struggling to raise the remainder of the funds as time quickly runs out. According to the Napa Valley Register, tenant Jennifer Keller who appointed herself as Tenant Committee leader has noted the difficulty they are having, even in just coming up with a few hundred dollars in donations. “People are giving their rent money, grocery money,” said Keller. “There are a lot of stories of real hardship. Unfortunately it’s all coming down to money. If we want our belongings, we have to pay the construction company the money they need to do the project.”
Keller attributes the hardship in raising the funds to the public’s perception that the plight of the tenants is not as serious as other more pressing matters. Their efforts have only collected $4, 500 from non-tenants so far."
Maybe people just feel a storage unit is for things that were one step away from departing from your life, but in actuality it’s a place that holds things that are really valuable to you that you just don’t have room for,” she said.
Another tenant Nini Keelen has offered up $2,500 to the recovery effort.
“Everything we own is in there. It’s my whole life. “Everything we own is in there,” said Keelen. “It’s my whole life,” said Keelen.
While the process so far has been a difficult one, tenants are largely hopeful that their efforts will pay off in the end. Once hey have gathered all the money, it could take up to six weeks to recover all the items.