A supplier for the homeless in the province of Escambia is recovering after the building was severely damaged by Hurricane Sally. Alfred Washburn Center took a foot of water.
“It flooded in 2012 and 2014 and now here in 2020,” said Director Michael Kimberle. “When it rains heavily, we see some huge puddles forming, so we were nervous but it was still more than we expected.”
Kimberle told Channel 3 that the newly added water retention ponds helped ensure that flooding this time wasn’t as bad as in 2014. The flood still damaged seven washers, dryers, two refrigerators, copiers and safes. But Kimberle says the real impact will be on those they serve.
“I think it’s going to be devastating,” Kimberle said. “We were already seeing the effects of COVID-19 on the homeless community and now, not only ourselves but also the Waterfront Rescue Mission have been damaged in the storm, so these are two of our largest facilities addressing the homelessness issue in our community outside of commission. Now.”
Kimberle says the center still offers some resources like free breakfast and mailboxes. He says it will likely take several weeks before the facility repairs are complete. In the meantime, donations can still be made to the center’s head office at the Saint Vincent de Paul Association, located at 2200 West Desoto Avenue. Kimberle now adds a great opportunity to grassroots efforts to step up efforts to help the homeless.
“Whether it’s for a meal in the park or just stopping by people on a street corner and asking what their needs are, it can help us a lot in our recovery.