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Salt Lake Rescue Mission reflects on damage from earthquake one year ago

Rescue Mission
Posted at 6:00 PM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 20:00:13-04

SALT LAKE CITY — One year ago on March 18th, 2020 the Salt Lake Rescue Mission was rocked by Utah's 5.7 earthquake.

“Originally we thought there was no damage to the building and then as we looked internally or externally at the building, we saw that the external brickwork had fallen out of the building.” Chris Croswhite said at the time of the shaking.

Watch FOX 13'S original story here:

The building next to theirs looked a lot worse with bricks from part of the upper decorative roof littering the sidewalk.

"Our neighbors building was obvious what the damage was," Croswhite told FOX13 one year later. "Ours was less obvious.”

It wasn’t until looking around that they realized they had much more damage then met the eye.

Inspectors came out later that day despite telling Crosswhite earlier that “within their priority, there were a few places with higher priority than the rescue mission that day.”

What they told the mission was the building was uninhabitable and needed at least two months of repairs.

Thanks to some quick thinking and reaching out to those at the city and county level, they were able to rent and move into a rec center in South Jordan that same night.

“Given a terrible situation of being displaced and our homeless friends displaced out of the rescue mission, those relationships and partnerships abled to us to not miss a day of service,” Croswhite said, thanking the construction company they partnered with. “At the end of May just over two months after having to exit our building we were able to re-occupy again.”

READ: $23 million in earthquake repairs still needed for two Salt Lake City landmarks

This however was just the start of a tough year for the shelter which faced many hardships at the hands of the pandemic, but Crosswhite says through all of it, several amazing people helped them including their staff and leaders across the valley.

“It is absolutely incredible to see the commitment that our frontline workers have to help our homeless friends," he said. ”Not just seek shelter every day, or a meal and a day room every day, but to predominately leave their life on the street.”