Catholic Charities dodges a major bullet

Catholic Charities dodges a major bullet
Catholic Charities, Lorain, OH
Catholic Charities, Lorain, OH

LORAIN, OH (WOIO) - Their prayers have been answered. Dozens of men and women who depend on the Catholic Charities shelter at St. Joseph Church in Lorain won't have to be forced out on the streets.

"It ain't fun being homeless, I can tell you that much. But, I'm so grateful for this place," says Sabrina Mowers.

24-year old Sabrina Mowers and her family ended up at the shelter after the home she lived in was foreclosed.

Now she receives meals and a warm place to sleep.

"If it had been shut down I would have no other place to go to I would have been out on the streets, probably sleeping under the bridge or something like that,' says Mowers.

The shelter has had a permit with the city of Lorain to be open seasonally since 2010.

But, officials tell us after an inspection by the fire chief last month, they were told they'd have to shut down Monday if sprinklers weren't installed.

"Up until this time no sprinkler system had been required by the city. Back in 2010 Catholic Charities put about $60,000 dollars worth of improvements. There's fire alarms, there's egress lighting," says John Klee Executive Director for emergency and specialized services for Catholic Charities.

Just before the doors were set to close early Monday evening the mayor stepped in and gave the shelter a five month extension, something Ed Richardson and others say they are grateful for.

"If it weren't for this where would we go," says Ed Richardson.

"Anybody can be in the same situation. Just put yourself in another persons shoes and know how it feels," says Mowers.

Within the next few days the shelter will meet with the city to get their new permit.

They'll also go over new requirements for fire safety.

In the meantime the shelter will continue to make plans to move into another building before their extension runs out.

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