Men’s homeless shelter in Washington reopens after Florence damage


The Zion Shelter and Kitchen is reopening for the first time since Florence. 

The shelter is big enough to house 11 homeless men, but since September 13, no one has been able to stay there due to damage caused by the hurricane.

Shelter manager Jonathan Gaskins said during those months they housed men in hotels, which proved costly, while they reconstructed the shelter. 

“Everything had to be torn apart,” said Gaskins “Walls, tiles, toilets kitchen sink, electrical, you name it.”

Executive director Robert Harris has worked at the shelter since it opened in the mid-1980s.

“This was an experience I never thought I would have to go through,” said Harris. 

He said damages were estimated to be $40,000 to $50,000. 

“It has really cost us, believe me, the community has really been with us,” Harris said. “They have donated finances with the reconstruction of everything. The checks are still coming in.” 

Donations allowed them to replace appliances, tiles, and bedding, as well as provide bags of hygiene products for the men to use tonight. 

Gaskins and Harris said they are proud of how far they have come since September and are prepared to reopen their renewed shelter this new year.

The men’s shelter is opening its doors back up Thursday night at 8 p.m., and they expect to be at full capacity. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

LKQD Outstream

Trending Stories