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Fells Point Esperanza Center temporarily closes following fire

Posted at 11:13 AM, Sep 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-14 13:39:59-04

The Esperanza Center announced it will remain temporarily closed as crews continue to clean up following a massive fire in Fells Point on Sept. 7.

The fire affected two buildings in the 400 block of S. Broadway. The blaze ravaged the more than 100-year-old Budeke's Paint store, which is adjacent to the Center's 430 S. Broadway address. The closure will remain in effect as crews removed debris from the building and make it safe for re-entry.

"This fire has been devastating for our staff and clients," said Val Twanmoh, the program director at the Esperanza Center. The removal of damaged walls, carpet and furniture could take months. "This fire has been devastating for our staff and clients, but we will overcome this challenge and continue to serve."

The Center will find alternative sites to provide services during the temporary clean up. 

The Esperanza Center is a branch of Catholic Charities. It provides education, healthcare, immigration legal matters, family reunification, anti-trafficking, and general community support to the city's immigrant population. 

“Our top priority remains serving our neighbors and people in need,” said Catholic Charities Executive Director Bill McCarthy. “We will not rest until we have those services restored.”