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Reader's View: Help needed for toxic mold victims, sufferers

Toxic mold contamination in homes and toxic mold poisoning and illness are becoming epidemic here and around the U.S. I continually meet people who have or who are experiencing one of these situations — or both of them. And I've discovered that there are no services in this town for people dealing with, and who are temporarily displaced because of, toxic mold in their homes or who have a toxic mold illness. If a home is covered by homeowner's insurance, then homeowners often can get hotel or short-term apartment lease costs and more paid, as well as remediation. If there is no homeowner's insurance, people are out of luck.

The Red Cross only helps in cases of natural disasters and house fires. Not one single social services agency or homeless prevention nonprofit in this city or county that I know of provides assistance to people who are temporarily displaced because of toxic mold contamination and who do not have much money, have pets, or cannot stay with family or friends for a multitude of reasons. They can be told to get rid of their pets or to find a foster (good luck with that) or board them and go into a shelter.

It's even worse when toxic mold victims also struggle with physical toxic mold illness and cannot be in old, moldy buildings. Even newer buildings can harbor mold and be life-threatening. That no true, substantial services exist to help such victims is unacceptable.

Step up to the plate, Duluth and St. Louis County, and truly help your citizens experiencing such disasters.

Christie Gingles

Duluth

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