The families of the two FBI special agents killed last week in Florida won’t have to worry about making their mortgage payments.
Tunnels to Towers Foundation, created in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to help the families of first responders killed in the line of duty, will pay off the remaining mortgage balances for the families of Laura Schwartzenberger and Daniel Alfin.
The special agents were killed attempting to serve a warrant last Tuesday in a child pornography investigation in Sunrise, FL. The FBI said the suspect, David Lee Huber, shot the agents through the door of his apartment before barricading himself inside and turning the gun on himself. Three other agents were injured.
Both Schwartzenberger and Alfin were married with children.
“These two FBI agents were two of the best of the best who helped stop the worst of the worst. Every day, [the agents] went to work and they kissed their spouses and children goodbye and tried to keep the rest of the children safe,” says Tunnels spokesman Trevor Tamsen. “We thought it was our responsibility to step up and protect the families they left behind.”
The foundation pays off the mortgages of fallen first responders who leave behind spouses and young children. They range from police officers and firefighters to emergency medical technicians and members of the military. The organization also outfits homes for catastrophically injured veterans.
“For most people, their mortgage payment is their greatest monthly burden,” says Tamsen. “Simply by lifting that burden, we hope to give these families time to grieve without having to worry about whether they’ll lose their home.”
During the coronavirus pandemic, Tunnels to Towers has been providing personal protective equipment and meals to front-line health care workers. The group has also been providing mortgage assistance to health care workers who have succumbed to COVID-19.
“These are the people who went to work when most of the country shut down,” says Tamsen. “These are the people who kept us safe.”
Tunnels to Towers was created by the family of Stephen Siller, an off-duty firefighter who died trying to save others in the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001. The organization is funded by individual donations and corporate partnerships.