Pillars Adult Shelter resumes normal operations



Scott Peeples, Senior Director of Community Engagement





Pillars Adult Shelter resumes normal   operations after water pipe break

Appleton, WI (February 1, 2019)

Pillars Adult Shelter, 1928 W. College Ave., Appleton, resumed regular operations today after separate breaks in water pipes in the sprinkler system that caused homeless shelter operations to move to The Mission Church in Appleton for two nights.

In the early evening of January 30, staff at the Pillars Adult Shelter became aware of the situation in the shelter’s back office.  They acted quickly to shut off the water and alert the fire department.  One of Pillars’ partners, The Mission Church, was contacted and quickly agreed to house 50 to 60 clients experiencing homelessness for the evening. Subsequently, Outagamie County Emergency Management services assisted by providing transportation for shelter clients, their belongings and the sleeping mats used at the shelter.

By 9 p.m., the Mission Church, located in Downtown Appleton, was transformed into a temporary homeless shelter.

“We are so appreciative to Pastor Shawn Whitworth and the Mission Church for opening their doors to us in this time of need,” said Joe Mauthe, Executive Director of Pillars.  “The Mission Church is a strong partner with Pillars, as well as with fellow agencies who are providing for the needs of our community members. Their decision to quickly address the situation is a testament to them putting their Christian faith into action.”

The morning after the water break, Pillars moved quickly to get the Adult Shelter back in order.  The break in the pipe was repaired, all electrical systems were deemed safe and operational and water damage cleanup efforts were undertaken.  However, less than 24 hours after the first pipe broke, a second pipe broke. Both breaks were in the sprinkler system.   Damage from the second break was less severe but still forced clients to spend another night at the Mission Church.

At this point, there is no estimate on the cost of the damage, all of which will be covered by insurance.

During daytime hours, Pillars Resource Center, 129 S. Mason St., Appleton, has been keeping people experiencing homelessness warm throughout this stretch of dangerously low temperatures. On Monday and Wednesday, lunch was also served to clients when the free lunch program at the Salvation Army ceased operation because of snow and cold.  On Thursday, a pipe broke at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, which houses the Resource Center at 129 S. Mason St. Once again, Pillars called on Mission Church and they welcomed clients back during afternoon hours. The issue at St. Matthew was fixed and clients were able to use the Pillars Resource Center during the day on Friday.

Pillars provides shelter to approximately 140 people in the Fox Valley every night at its Adult Shelter and the Adult & Family Shelter, located at 400 N. Division St, Appleton.  At this point, Pillars is not requesting additional in-kind assistance in the wake of the water pipes breaking. For more information:  www.pillarsinc.org

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