South side charity in need of $60,000 following broken boiler

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CHICAGO-- A south side charity dedicated to helping Chicago’s less fortunate needs some help of its own.

The Port Ministries in the Back of the Yards neighborhood has no heat, a broken boiler, forcing many of its programs to shut down.

They’re doing their best to keep some of the programs going right now but they run pretty lean over here and they need $60,000—fast.

Around here, basketball’s not just a good time it’s about the only way to stay warm.

Kevin Felisme, The Port Ministries, “yeah, uh the boiler broke on us over the weekend so that’s been a bit of a struggle.”

It’s a struggle, alright. Pieces of the boiler are strewn everywhere. Replacing this will likely eat up a-quarter of the catholic charity's annual budget. And in the meantime, people in need, who get help here in all kids of ways, are paying the price.

Matt Devitt, The Port Ministries, “As we’ve seen, it effects all of our ministries, ya know, these guys are troopers playing out here in the cold, but the other ministries- they’re not so lucky.”

Like, for example, the free clinic- where they saw as many people as they could yesterday, before shutting down when their equipment and their patients started to freeze.

Savannah Boersma, volunteer said “People come here for help and we did the best we could, but obviously it’s been so cold we can only do so much.”

And while they’re doing their best, a group of visiting volunteers from green bay is forced to crash on the floor of a chapel where at least there’s heat.

Through it all, the crew at the port remains amazingly upbeat.

Kevin Felisme said “We have a lot of amazing donors that give their money and their time and we just really hope they can come through at this time and help us out with the boiler."

They have an after-school program, adult education classes and the bread truck that served $150,000 meals last year.

Without heat, it’s all being either slowed down or stopped completely.

They are fundraising for that 60-grand and a new boiler.

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