Yesterday was a big day for Russell House staff. After an October first kitchen fire that displaced 53 residents, it was thought that three weeks was a reasonable timeframe to move everybody back in, according to Randi Turntine, the development and volunteer coordinator. It took a little longer, but the wait is over.

Yesterday was a big day for Russell House staff. After an October first kitchen fire that displaced 53 residents, it was thought that three weeks was a reasonable timeframe to move everybody back in, according to Randi Turntine, the development and volunteer coordinator.  Water and smoke damage had to be assessed at the time, with the first floor and basement area of the home most heavily damaged from the sprinkler system that was installed.
After five weeks of construction and remodeling, Russell House has welcomed back their residents—victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, that were temporarily displaced while the shelter underwent restoration.
“We still have some kitchen cabinets to install, but we’ll work around that,” said Turntine.
More importantly, Russell House had been able to continue to do what they do best. Turnstine said staff members have been able to work in the front office and take crisis calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week since the incident. She added, as crisis calls came in to Russell House, advocates were able to help connect those in need with neighboring shelters that could house them until Russell House reopened.
“Russell House is expecting to have 38 women and children coming back to the shelter, and that number will continue to grow,” she said.
Turntine also wanted to thank those that came to help in their time of need. “We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all the individuals and organizations that have donated to us in the past five weeks.” “We are fortunate to live in a community that shares our passion for serving victims of abuse.”
One organization that helped recently in a big way was the Rolla Rotary Club, donating $6050 to help with expenses associated with the fire.
“Insurance covers the damage, but we’ve got the deductible and other expenses,” noted Turntine. “This was wonderful to receive this.”