RTW Veterans Center for homeless vets in Washington Park shut down seven days ago when a steam pike burst because of frigid temperatures. The center normally is open seven days a week serving three meals a day to hundreds of veterans and families and children in the community. No one is turned away, and many are still coming in, not knowing that it is closed. All the volunteers are able to provide is some fresh fruit.
The center is facing thousands of dollars in damages and they may even need a new furnace. The not-for-profit is privately funded through donations. They were forced to look for rooms in homeless shelters for the 30 veterans who sleep in the center.
Veteran and founder Daniel Habeel says they usually serve about 4,000 meals a month and provide free cloths, housing and job placement.
"This is a warming center to and we have a lot of people suffering inside the area," said Habeel.
The center also provides free clothes, housing, job and transportation to and from work daily for veterans. That is why so many of them are here today to get their ride to work.
"The people that go to work still need to go to work. We are going to take them and pick them up," said Arnetha Gholston-Habeel, RTW Veterans Center.
"They helped and got me a place to stay, they really changed my life," said Earl Johnson.
Volunteers are trying to make repairs, but it is not enough and they desperately need help.
RTW Veterans Center
5536 South King Drive
Chicago, IL 60637