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St. Charles company finding housing for tornado victims

Published: Friday, May 24, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES – A St. Charles-based company that specializes in finding temporary housing for displaced families is handling about 1,000 requests from those affected by the devastating tornado that touched down Monday in Oklahoma.

“We manage the entire process for them,” said Rowena Zimmers, president and founder of ALE Solutions. “It takes the headache away from them.”

ALE Solutions has about 12 years’ experience helping those displaced by fires and natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes, Zimmers said.

Contacted by the homeowners’ insurance companies, ALE Solutions typically places families in hotels while the damage is assessed, Zimmers said.

The company then finds housing, such as a single-family home, that meets their needs, she said.

She said ALE Solutions also makes sure the house has everything the family would need.

“We completely furnish each of the temporary housing, down to the pots and pans,” Zimmers said. “If they have pets, we also make sure that the landlord would accept their pets so they don’t have to board their pets.”

ALE Solutions coordinates much of the work through its St. Charles headquarters, Zimmers said, noting that in the immediate aftermath it also mobilizes a team and sends a specialized catastrophe team to the affected area.

“It’s been a challenge to find housing in these residentially dense neighborhoods of suburban Oklahoma City due to the widespread damage from this tornado,” Michelle Licht, a catastrophe specialist on-site for ALE Solutions, said in a news release. “But we [have] been able to place families right away.”

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