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San Fernando Valley homeless shelter reopens facility destroyed in fire

Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Krekorian spoke at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new warehouse in North Hollywood.
Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Krekorian spoke at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new warehouse in North Hollywood.
San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission

The San Fernando Rescue Mission has reopened a facility for homeless services three years after the original building was destroyed in a fire.

The new 10,000-square-foot warehouse in North Hollywood will store items donated for resale at the mission's three thrift stores. That revenue will help pay for homeless services.

Angela Pacheco with the mission says it's a lifeline for nearly 100 people.

"Each family that we service comes with a different unique story and situation," Pacheco told KPCC. "We have a family right now that's a full time student over at [Cal State Northridge], which is right next to us, and she has two little girls. Ninety percent of the families living with us are employed. So homelessness basically has different faces."

Councilman Paul Krekorian and members of the Los Angeles Fire Department attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday.

Residents were sleeping at the mission property when a fire broke out at a nearby palette warehouse in 2013. The fire spread to the mission, burning everything.

At the time, the location consisted of a thrift store, a warehouse for donation drop-offs and a family shelter that housed 30 homeless people. The fire caused $2 million in damages, Pacheco said.

After the fire, the families were moved to a temporary site, she said.

A permanent shelter for 90 people was opened in Northridge in August. 

The new warehouse will help to put the organization back on track, according to Pacheco, who said the mission receives 50 percent of its revenue from thrift store sales.

"It's kind of brought everything full circle in seeing where we've come from in the last two years, after the devastation of the fire," she said.