Boys & Girls Haven

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- This week, Boys & Girls Haven announced the next step on the road to recovery after a kitchen fire last year destroyed an apartment building used to house young people preparing to age out of foster care.

The accidental kitchen fire in November destroyed 17 apartment units, and on Wednesday, crews started the rebuilding process.

On a tour of the facility Wednesday, it was easy to see the passion and vision from Read Harris, CEO of Boys & Girls Haven. Shortly after Harris came on board, that devastating fire brought the 70-year old organization to its knees.

"They came out ... with virtually nothing," Harris said. "Many of them in shorts, T-shirts and flip-flops in 20-degree weather."

The fire happened at an apartment complex on Klondike Lane. The units are used to house older teenagers who are transitioning from foster care to independent living.

"We sheltered them here on campus in our gym, and the heart of Louisville stood up," Harris said.

After a few days on the gymnasium floor, donations helped move the teenagers to nearby temporary housing.

"We're at the point where the reconstruction has started to happen in Klondike," Harris said.

Shortly after the fire, the building was gutted, and now crews are renovating, rebuilding and helping to construct a life lesson for the teens.

"I think it is good for them to see that life will offer you challenges, and that if you stick together, stick with the process and stay positive, that at the end, things work out," Harris said.

But Harris said to finish the job, they need help.

"We still need donors," he said. "We still need volunteers who want to come and invest in our mission."

The goal is for the teenagers to move back into the apartments in June.

To learn more about Boys & Girls Haven and what's needed, call (502)-458-1171 or click here.

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