AP NEWS

Family Promise seeks help after flooding

June 11, 2018

Family Promise Day Center in Rochester is experiencing problems with flooding.

According to leadership, those problems only are going to continue unless the organization gets additional help from volunteers.

The organization, which helps homeless families with a 90-day program that provides them with basic necessities and addresses the root cause of their situation, has had its basement flood twice in a two-week span.

As a result, residents were moved from the day center, which acts as a “home base” and permanent address during the daytime, to hotels. Not only that, but many donations Family Promise received, including blankets, pillows and more, were stored in the basement and also had to be relocated because of the flooding.

“We moved all of [the donations] out to the garage, and it is a disaster,” Case Manager Nicolette Meyer said. “The hard part is that we couldn’t really see it because all of our donations were down there, so if it was slowly flooding, we couldn’t see it.”

According to Meyer, the day center Family Promise has operated since 2003 is dealing with a problem related to invasive tree roots. Meyer said the roots are invading the organization’s plumbing that extends all the way down to Seventh Street NW.

That, combined with the fact the building is more than 100 years old, is leading to major headaches for Family Promise. To make matters more complicated, because the nonprofit organization has a small budget and relies mostly on volunteers, they don’t have the money to fix the issue.

Because of these circumstances, the organization is looking for any and all people looking to volunteer. Specifically, the organization is seeking people willing to help clean up damage to the house, donate items or donate money to help remedy the plumbing issue.

The basement will cost about $5,000 to fix, but Meyer said Family Promise is seeking to raise more than that total so they can fix the problem at its source. Unless that happens, Meyer said this issue likely will continue to occur.

“The plumbing company said if it’s not maintained, this is going to happen again,” Meyer said. “If not every six months, it could happen even more frequently than that.”

Meyer said Family Promise needs the money in order to fully provide its services to homeless families in the area. Last year, the organization said it helped more than 600 families in the area.

The organization has more than 1,400 volunteers across Southeast Minnesota, but because its reach is so wide and many volunteers are needed during the week (at least eight to 10 are needed per day), Meyer said they need all of the volunteers they can get.

If you’re interested in volunteering or donating to Family Promise Rochester, go to the organization’s website at familypromise.org.

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