South Side Homeless Shelter Asks For Donations After Pipes Burst, Evacuating Residents

February 03, 2019 - 9:15 am

 CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A South Side homeless facility that puts a roof over people's heads is looking for help following the bitter cold.

Several pipes burst at the Olive Branch Mission at 6310 South Claremont on Friday morning, sending water cascading down, forcing the mission to find other places to house roughly 200 chronically homeless people who stay at the shelter, half of them children.

La Forice Nealy, president and CEO of the Olive Branch Mission, told WBBM that costly repairs are likely ahead.

"We're operate on a pretty tight budget so anything that is unbudgeted is going to have a pretty significant impact on our operations," Nealy said.

 Nealy said the pipe repair will be major and the primary campus is closed until the repairs can be completed. He said this is a huge blow to the center and asking for donations further strengthens its mission to be more than just a place to get warm. 

"We are a place where people who are chronically homeless are able to come and do the work that they need to in terms of transforming their lives out of that situation," he said.

And, he said, this is just another reminder of the severity of chronic homelessness — it's not just when it's cold.

"There is a real need to make sure that there is housing available for people who are chronically homeless and need to have a safe refuge," he said.

You can help the mission by going to its website.