Just before 1 a.m. on Saturday morning, a fire destroyed the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission’s emergency shelter, vehicle fleet, clothing warehouse and food pantry. It took more than 130 brave Los Angeles City firefighters to get the fire under control. Thankfully, there were no injuries, however, the damage is devastating to the Mission and the equipment it uses to serve our San Fernando Valley.
Shelter guests were evacuated to a nearby church and are being assisted by the Red Cross. The Mission’s fleet of five box trucks, and two vans were completely destroyed in the blaze, bringing to a halt the S.O.S. program that provided mobile relief.The larger trucks were used to pick up donations of clothing and food for the thrift store and food bank; the thrift store production center and contents were also decimated in the fire.
The destruction of the Mission’s vehicle fleet will seriously impact the emergency mobile program, which travels to six distinct areas of the Valley each week equipped with its mobile shower unit, hot nutritious food, and clothing and hygiene items for distribution. Each month, the SOS program serves an average of 1,500 men, women and children and provides over 1,500 meals, 1,400 items of clothing, 300 showers, and 400 hygiene kits.
Cash donations are the most vital right now and may be made by visiting the Mission’s website. Trucks and temporary storage containers are also needed to continue the Mission’s work without interruption.You can also make a donation of vital goods. Items needed include:
- Children’s clothing
- Adult clothing
- Socks and underwear
- Gift cards to Department stores and grocery stores
- New children’s shoes
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Toothpaste and toothbrushes
- Feminine products
- Small household items
- Personal hygiene items
You can drop off donations at the Sun Valley Thrift Store located at 9007 Lankershim Blvd. in Sun Valley from 9am-6pm daily or at the CD 12 Community Service Center located at 9207 Oakdale Ave. in Chatsworth from 8:30am-4pm, Mondays through Fridays.
In the last year, the Mission provided 9,700 nights of shelter to mothers, fathers and their children. In addition, more than 46,500 meals were served, and dignity was restored to over 10,500 homeless individuals through showers and clean clothes provided at eight mobile locations and three Mission-run thrift stores help fund a pathway for families to get off the streets and into self-sufficiency.
The San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission has helped thousands of people in our community get back on their feet. Now it’s our turn to help this amazing organization get back on their feet.
For more information and how to donate, please contact (888) 937-4448 or call the CD12 Community Service Center at (818) 882-1212.