ST. LOUIS – The Annie Malone Children and Family Services Crisis Center faced a crisis of its own. It was temporarily shut down after pipes burst from the cold weather, flooding the center.

The organization has been helping St. Louis families for 134 years.

Annie Malone Children and Family Services CEO Kiesha Lee said the Crisis Center was severely damaged by water on Tuesday, forcing it to close temporarily.

“We are always at capacity. We just accepted some families,” Lee said. “We had to turn them around and tell them we could not take them in, and that’s within itself very unimaginable. It’s heartbreaking to see.”

Lee said when she walked through the doors, she was devastated to see the entire boys’ section wing of the center flooded. The bathrooms and bedrooms were flooded and the furniture and flooring were damaged.

The center helps hundreds of families in crisis each year by providing a stable environment with short-term care. It helps families avoid situations of abuse, neglect, and homelessness by taking care of children while they stabilize their living situation.

“It’s going to be hard on the kids,” said Irene James.

“This is our crisis center, and we are the only ones that really do what we do in this area,” Lee said. “So, to turn away families that you said you would be able to accept, and help, is really heartbreaking.”

Organizers said repairs would cost around $100,000, and they are asking the community for help.

If you are in need of help, you can contact Annie Malone Children and Family Services Crisis Center 24 hour hotline at 1-844-803-7233. To donate, click here.


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