FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Tucked away on the edge of a Fort Worth neighborhood is a large building with security discreetly installed all around it. The building promises safety to dozens of abused women and their children.
SafeHaven of Tarrant County is their hideaway — their new, safe place to restart their lives.
Very early Tuesday morning a large water line broke in the ceiling above the stairwell.
“That caused the ceiling in the stairwell to collapse,” said SafeHaven CEO Mary Lee Hafley. “And then water rushed downstairs and down the walls and down the halls and about everywhere it could go.
“There was black residue everywhere. There was six inches of water, at least six inches of water downstairs. The walls — there was water just running down the walls.”
The living space for seven families is now unliveable. Sheets and pillows were soaked and tiles lifted off the floor by the bubbling water.
Classrooms to teach dozens of kids from preschool to high school age are unusable. There are piles of boxes and furniture where employees tried desperately to lift items off of the flooded floors.
Still, child car seats, pack and plays, furniture, books and more are ruined.
Industrial fans send up a din of noise throughout the building causing a breeze through the hallways. But it will take a week just to dry everything out enough to see the damage inside the walls.
“It was devastating to see it,” Hafley said. “It really was.”
The families were relocated to temporary shelter. But until SafeHaven can somehow rebuild, there won’t be a place where those families can try to find some normalcy in their lives.
“We provide those experiences for people that are normal every day experiences for you and me but they are really special moments for our families,” Hafley said. “And, it feels like some of that has just been robbed not only for our organization but for our families we serve.
“If they don’t have this place to go to, I don’t know where they go.”
Click here for SafeHaven’s website or call 877. 701. SAFE if you or someone you know needs help.
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