Richmond Hill residents look toward future, try to figure out what's next

Residents ask media for privacy

INDIANAPOLIS - Looking for answers, displaced Richmond Hill residents met with authorities Thursday night.

The focus of the meeting was not the investigation into what caused the massive destruction in their neighborhood. Rather, it was about trying to figure out what's next.

"This is a phenomenal group, a remarkable set of folks who are brave and moving through a very difficult time period with grace and dignity," said Rob Hock, senior pastor at Southport Presbyterian Church, where the meeting was held.

Hock said residents are worried about when they can move back, if at all, and what will happen for Thanksgiving next week. 

The residents also discussed the role of the media in the aftermath of the disaster in their neighborhood, and they've asked media personnel to give them space.

"We collectively and as a majority do not want you in our neighborhood at this time," read a statement sent to the media at large by the Indianapolis Fire Department on behalf of the residents.

"We are trying to heal and find some space and feel that you are disrespecting our privacy. We need time to process and begin to rebuild our lives. In time we may be prepared to tell our story but for now we are hurting..." the statement continued.

"There's a lot of conversation about how the media are not adversaries to them," Hock said. "And yet, when they're consumed by the media pursuing them, following them around, eavesdropping on their conversations, it communicates to them that, 'We don't care about you,' and you're really after a story."

Hock did say that collectively the group is trying to stay positive overall.

A spaghetti dinner fundraiser is being held tomorrow at Southport Middle School.

Donations can be made to the families on the church's website .

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