A late night fire damaged a homeless shelter in downtown Erie on Tuesday.

It’s making the already challenging mission of helping Erie’s homeless even more difficult.

Chelsea Swift was live from East 12th Street with more about the shelter’s future.

As leaders from the shelter are now working to figure out their next steps, local agencies are helping those impacted by the fire.

A homeless shelter on East 12th Street, Saint Patrick’s Haven, is heavily damaged after a fire. The organization shut down its operations, displacing 23 men who were staying there.

Tuesday’s fire caused extensive damage to the front of the building.

The shelter’s executive director is working with contractors to get a better sense of how long renovations will take.

“We’re not sure what our timeline looks like, but we’ve got wonderful guidance from our insurance company and from the contractors that we’re working with, and I’m sure they’ll be letting us know what that timeline is very soon,” said Betsy Wiest, executive director, St. Patrick’s Haven.

The executive director of Saint Patrick’s Haven said she’s grateful the community is lending a helping hand during this difficult time.

“I’ve received multiple texts, emails, phone calls, from friends and from other providers and people in the community just saying, what do you need? What can we do? Right now, we’re not sure what we need because we’re still kind of going through that, what’s going to happen?” said Wiest.

The program director from the Erie City Mission said local agencies work together. He told us they have additional beds for those impacted by the fire.

“We are going to open up approximately five more beds for the men who have been displaced from the fire at St. Pat’s Haven. We’re trying to support St. Pat’s Haven any way that the city mission can,” said Curtis Jones, program coordinator, Erie City Mission.

Jones says this is an example of the way Erie organizations help each other out.

“Whether it’s housing, whether there’s a family that may need food, we’ll put boxes together for families that might not have any food in their household or whatever it may be, we do try to support them the best we can, and they do support us if we reach out to them at all times,” said Jones.

At this time, the City of Erie Fire Department is investigating the cause of the fire. The chief fire inspector has visited the area several times, and said the department is working to figure out what happened.