NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif., April 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- For the Valley's homeless families who depend upon shelter and food from the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission, May 3, 2014 was a devastating day. Just before 1 am, a wood pallet warehouse adjacent to the shelter erupted in flames, rapidly engulfing the Mission.
The fire took LA City firefighters over an hour to get under control and close to 24 hours to fully eliminate smoldering debris. The San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission was a complete loss – its emergency family shelter, most of its vehicle fleet, and clothing and food warehouse, too. That night the Mission's facilities were devastated, but their will to serve those most in need remained strong.
"By the grace of God our guests and staff were able to escape the fire unharmed, but the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission was declared a total loss," said Executive Director Wade Trimmer. "This was our center of operations, our headquarters. We're going to have to start over from scratch."
Fast forward -- one year later. Thanks to the entire community coming together, the Valley's homeless families will soon have a new home. Construction on the Mission's new 90 bed, 16,000 square foot family shelter "Home Again" has wrapped up and the facility is on target to open in late June.
"It is absolutely a miracle that nearly one year later, we are looking at opening a new family shelter. So many have worked so hard to make this happen. From politicians, corporations, churches, firefighters and entertainers, to restaurants and reporters, the recovery and rebuild of the Shelter is truly a collaborative effort to serve those most in need in our Valley," added Trimmer.
Despite the loss of facilities in the fire, over the last year, the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission provided 5,577 nights of shelter to mothers, fathers and their children. In addition, more than 15,000 meals were served, and dignity was restored to over 6,688 homeless individuals through showers and clean clothes provided at seven mobile locations and three Mission-run thrift stores that help fund a pathway for families to get off the streets.
Help in the form of donations is still needed to fully open the new shelter this year. To help, visit the Mission's website.
SOURCE San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission