Fire guts South Side youth homeless shelter

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CHICAGO – An Englewood shelter for homeless youth was gutted in a fire last month.

Anne Holcomb helps run the shelter and says it’s unknown what started the fire.

“That's part of the struggle that we are in right now,” she told WGN News.  “The fire marshal wasn't able to determine the cause of the fire and the facility had been closed for several hours when the fire broke out.”

The shelter opened nearly a year and a half ago and gave homeless youth a place to sleep, store belongings and get them on a better path.

For now, those in charge are looking for a temporary facility and  donations of beds, bedding, towels and toiletries.  It’s a monumental task as an organization that gives support now looks for its own.

“Our washer and dryer melted, our stove, our refrigerator …everything's melted and gone,” Holcomb said.

The shelter does have insurance but because the cause is still being determined, it's not paying on the claim.  Unity Parenting, which runs this shelter, has set up a GoFundMe page, hoping to raise enough in donations to open a temporary shelter.