Arthur Capper Senior Apartments fire
**FILE** Safety officials shut down the property for the senior complex after the fire. (Roy Lewis/The Washington Informer)

Three months after a fire destroyed parts of a senior housing complex in Southeast, an army of compassionate “soldiers” made sure that the affected residents would still enjoy a holiday meal and receive extra love this Thanksgiving Day.

In September, 160 senior citizens were displaced when a fire blazed through the four-story Arthur Capper affordable housing building located in the Navy Yard neighborhood. Two months after the fire, 40 of those residents remain housed at the Residence Inn’s DC/Capitol location.

And in the months since the fire, District merchants and civic groups have stepped up to help the displaced seniors. Just days before Thanksgiving, the Xi Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. teamed up with Residence Inn to host “Blessings in a Banquet” for the seniors.

“As part of our season of giving, and in keeping with the sorority’s commitment of service to all mankind, Xi Omega is serving these 40 seniors with a warm Thanksgiving dinner provided by Residence Inn and gifting them with bags of non-perishable food, toiletries and other essentials,” said AKA chapter President April Gaines. “Because these displaced residents have been through so much this fall, we’re grateful to partner with Residence Inn to make the season a little better for them.”

District officials fed thousands at the Walter Washington Convention Center on Thanksgiving Day while members of the Washington Redskins distributed tons of turkeys and food bags at FedEx Field – examples of outreach efforts in the area that remain part of yearly giveaways for those in need.

Hamil R. Harris

Hamil Harris is an award-winning journalist who worked at the Washington Post from 1992 to 2016. During his tenure he wrote hundreds of stories about the people, government and faith communities in the...

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