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Non-profit helping Sevier Co. families left homeless by bridge collapse after being told they'd have to move

After a bridge collapse left families trapped and the landlord told them they'd have to move out, a local non-profit stepped up to make sure they have housing.

SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. — Three Sevierville families were told they'd have to move out of their homes after a bridge leading to their home collapsed.

The collapse left several families trapped. The landlord who owns the bridge and the houses said once families manage to get out, they'd have to find a new place to live.

However, that's something Attorney Steve Gillman said is not legal.

"Unless you waive it in a written lease, you have to give someone 30 days notice at the least to have them move out," Gillman said.

He said at the end of the day the responsibility falls with the landowner.

"Ultimately the landlord has been making money off of the rental. So, I think they have an obligation to assist," Gillman said. "The landlord would absolutely have an obligation to make a repair."

In the meantime, a local non-profit stepped in to help ensure the families had a roof over their heads.

“I immediately said, 'There's got to be something we can do,'” said Katie Linkous.

Linkous is the President of FIG Solutions. Their mission is to make sure everyone has access to quality living. Because of their actions, these families won't have to wait to have a roof over their heads.

“We connected Kevin and Maggie with an apartment that they're excited about, I think, and we're setting up a showing and working through their application,” Linkous said.

RELATED: Bridge collapse leaves people trapped at home in Sevier County

The non-profit said it wants to go above and beyond to make sure those affected have a safe and reliable place to live.

“Dave and I talked this afternoon…we do have some properties that I think we can hopefully get together with him,” Linkous said.

She said she didn’t know if they would have the right answer, but she was going to figure it out.

Her message to East Tennessee:

“Don't let your neighbor, whether it's a county over, a street over, the house next door, go through a crisis alone. We all have something we can offer,” Linkous said.

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