Fire damages Jackson shelter set to open for battered families - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Fire damages Jackson shelter set to open for battered families

A Jackson organization that provides life-saving resources to women, men and children in tough situations needs help. This after fire damage two Catholic Charities properties. Source: WLBT A Jackson organization that provides life-saving resources to women, men and children in tough situations needs help. This after fire damage two Catholic Charities properties. Source: WLBT
A Jackson organization that provides life-saving resources to women, men and children in tough situations needs help. This after fire damage two Catholic Charities properties. Source: WLBT A Jackson organization that provides life-saving resources to women, men and children in tough situations needs help. This after fire damage two Catholic Charities properties. Source: WLBT
A Jackson organization that provides life-saving resources to women, men and children in tough situations needs help. This after fire damage two Catholic Charities properties. Source: WLBT A Jackson organization that provides life-saving resources to women, men and children in tough situations needs help. This after fire damage two Catholic Charities properties. Source: WLBT
A Jackson organization that provides life-saving resources to women, men and children in tough situations needs help. This after fire damage two Catholic Charities properties. Source: WLBT A Jackson organization that provides life-saving resources to women, men and children in tough situations needs help. This after fire damage two Catholic Charities properties. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A Jackson organization that provides life-saving resources to women, men and children in tough situations needs help. This after fire damage two Catholic Charities properties.

One of the properties was a shelter and was set to open to house battered families. The property was going to be transformed into a playground.

“It's a big disappointment. Oh yes,” said Bishop Joseph Kopacz.

Kopacz is the executive director of Catholic Charities. He admits he's shocked and sadden to see the charred mangled mess from a weekend fire.

“It is under investigation, but I don't know if someone was sleeping in there and accidentally caught it on fire because we've had homeless people staying here at times, well regularly and maybe one of them started the fire,” said Kopacz.

The Jackson Fire Department is still investigating what caused the fire. 

Catholic Charities was planning to knock down the house that was on the property and build a playground for families in need.  

Bishop Kopacz says flames then spread to the building nextdoor, which the non-profit was planning to use as a shelter and safe haven for battered families.

“The roof caught on fire. You can see the hole and tarp," said Chief Operating Officer John Lunardini. "You can see the water damage on the floor. The windows are broken. You can smell the smoke.”  

“This becomes part of the family when you have a facility that receives such loving care and restoration, then it's damaged,” said Kopacz.

The shelter was set to open in May. The date has now been pushed back by several months as the non-profit cleans up.

“We need centers like this in Jackson. It is a huge problem," said Lunardini. "Catholic Charities is there to help solve the problems and we are not to be able to do that as soon as we had hoped. Our staff will overcome, but at the same time they were eager to get going.”

If you would like If you would like to help Catholic Charities rebuild, call (601) 355-8634.

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