Anchorage Children's Home reopens its doors

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Hurricane Michael really did a number on our area. Many local organizations that offer help to the community have needed help themselves, that includes shelters like Anchorage Children's Home in Panama City .

Like many places in Panama City, Anchorage Children's Home was damaged by Hurricane Michael.

"The roof systems failed and we had 15 youth and eight staff. They congregated in the main living area. They moved into that as the facility started to leak around them," explained Executive Director Joel Booth.

Anchorage is a place that offers shelter for kids without a home but after Michael, their home away from home wasn't much of a shelter. Booth said they were determined to get it back up and running.

"As we get through this recovery mode, getting through the shock of everything and now dealing with the reality, we expect the referrals to really pick up," said Booth.

"We wanted the shelter to be the top priority so we can get kids back in here and offer that safety for kids who need to come to Anchorage for services," said Anchorage Children's Home Development Director Brooke Bullard.

After almost four months of help from contractors and other local organizations, Anchorage Children's Home has reopened its doors.

"I did think we would be down six months to a year at least. So the fact that we're talking about this now and we opened up last Monday and we already have kids in the facility, it's incredible," added Booth.

Booth said they have all of their services back on line, however they still have more work to do.

"We lost about 40 percent of our workforce after the storm because our staff lost houses," said Booth.

Apartments they rented for kids in their transitional program in Panama City were completely destroyed but they're working on a plan to restore what they've lost and are set to have a grand reopening for the shelter in March.

Bullard said they are asking for donations from the community. For more information, click on the link attached to this article.