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Boy’s Shelter for Homeless Closing

November 27, 1986

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ A shelter for the homeless founded in 1984 by an 11-year-old boy is being forced to close because it doesn’t have the money to make city-ordered repairs, the youngster’s father said.

Trevor Ferrell began helping the homeless by handing his own pillow and blanket to a man sleeping on the street after seeing a December 1983 television report about street people.

The boy, his parents and volunteers began taking food and clothing to street people every night, and their work attracted national attention. Trevor’s Place opened in March 1984, but Frank Ferrell said the city recently cited the shelter for code violations.

″The closing had to be, because the city was about to pounce on us anyway,″ the elder Ferrell said Tuesday, adding he hoped the shelter could reopen by mid-January.

Nightly meals provided to street people will continue, and staff members are trying to find housing for the shelter’s 30 residents, Ferrell said.

Nancy Fisher, director of Trevor’s Place, said about $15,000 would be needed for repairs, including steel fire-escape doors. The three-story former rooming house was loaned without charge by the Father Divine Peace Mission.

Robert Fishman of Resources for Human Development, a non-profit corporation that oversees the shelter’s finances, said it cost more than $20,000 a month to run the facility.

As of Monday, the organization had $12,000 on hand, he said.

Ferrell said he had not shown his son much of the financial picture, ″not because it looks so bleak, but because he’s got enough to fill his head with.″

Trevor’s Place was one of 23 charities across the country chosen by President Reagan in 1985 to share a $2 million surplus in inaugural funds. The shelter received two $50,000 gifts from the fund, which helped carry it through previous winters, Fishman said.

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