SHENANDOAH COUNTY, Va. -- A place where the less fortunate could find shelter has gone up in flames.
The two people that got out of the building housing the Shenandoah Alliance for Shelter as it was burning down are lucky to be alive. The fire escape stairs, were supposed to be their escape plan; however, the stairs were on fire, and they were not able to get out that way. They had to actually jump out a window on the other side of this building to save their lives.
"I love this job. It means everything to me, and I certainly loved this building," shared Kerry Keihn, a program administrator with the alliance who worked in the building.
Keihn is now working with the alliance to put their organization back together after a fire Sunday morning.
"Everything that we had here is gone," Keihn continued.
The alliance works to give temporary homes to families who are about to lose shelter. Now, they're faced with the same problem they try to fix.
"It's like losing somebody in your family," shared Danny Sheetz, who is a housing assistant with the alliance.
Starting from square one is a challenge that he says he hopes they'll overcome here.
"I was looking forward to contributing to the rebuilding and the process of helping the homeless in Shenandoah County," Sheetz explained.
That's a task Keihn says she's ready for, "It's irreplaceable. Although we will go on, it is still very sad that we lost our home here."
Monetary donations are greatly appreciated at this time to help defray expenses as Shenandoah Alliance for Shelter settles into a new home.
Donations can be mailed to Shenandoah Alliance for Shelter, P.O. Box 241, Maurertown, VA 22644.
Please do not send donations to the Alliance’s PayPal account, as the computers in the offices burned and staff may not have access to the PayPal account that is connected to the official website.
Available long-term office space, especially that is free or at a discounted rent, would also be appreciated. If you have questions about donations, please contact staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Despite this devastating event, Shenandoah Alliance for Shelter will continue to provide the services to the region through its numerous financial assistance programs for the local homeless and near homeless.
Those with questions should contact Kerry Keihn, Program Administrator, at email@example.com.
A gathering will be planned in the near future for community members to commemorate the Alms House and the purpose it served so successfully for nearly 200 years.
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