Roof of Truth for Youth building collapses

The Truth for Youth program building in Pensacola was badly damaged this weekend and the program’s president, The Rev. John Powell, Sr. is now trying to save the historic structure. A Super Bowl Sunday storm caused the roof to collapse on the building in the Belmont-DeVilliers neighborhood sometime in the overnight hours leading into Monday morning. “The water accumulated on the center of the roof and the wind apparently caught the corners and it collapsed in on all the rooms,” said Powell. “It all happened very quickly.” The building now sits in near ruins, but Powell still sees hope. “We are not giving up on this historic building in this historically Black neighborhood,” Powell said. “We are just trying to figure out how to clean this up.” The Truth for Youth program has been a staple in the community since it was founded in 1993, offering programs for at-risk and low income children from ages 6 to 16 to “promote and encourage academic excellence, moral and civic responsibility, self-esteem, positive self-image, confidence, pride, discipline, fortitude, and respect for self and others.” Powell said that the building has been largely unoccupied for the past year, due to damage from the flooding last year. The building also has no insurance. Though no specific campaign has been launched yet, Powell said that fundraising to help preserve and revitalize the building will begin as soon as the cleanup plans are finalized. “We are encouraged by the love that Pensacola has shown us,” Powell said. “We are definitely going to need them to help save the building.”
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