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Clive food pantry prepares to reopen after 6 months of recovery

Clive Community Services suffered smoke and water damage after a fire broke out next door in May of 2021.

CLIVE, Iowa — Back in May of 2021, a fire tore through a portion of a building on NW 82nd Street in Clive.

"There was smoke just coming out of all of the nooks and crannies of the building and everything," described Stephanie Horak, board president of Clive Community Services.

The fire started in the unit next door.

"It was heartbreaking," she recalled.

It led to water and smoke damage at the nonprofit that serves hundreds of metro residents every month.

"It's to this thick, grimy city, yucky stuff that she really can't clean. We really had to get rid of a lot," Horak said.

Without a facility to work out of, the organization had to cut back its food pantry, clothing closet, and clinic services.  Whatever they could salvage, ended up in storage containers in the parking lot.

"The quality of service is down— the amount of stuff that they want the personal care, the laundry detergent, the diapers, the toilet paper, those types of things," she said.

But the organization has reached a turning point as the holidays and winter approach. 

"I'm feeling hopeful. These clothing rooms, we just really got back together," Horak said.

That means the organization is finally able to take food and clothing donations--something they haven't been able to do for months because they didn't have much room to store items.

"I would tell our clients that we're eager to welcome you back into our building, we're eager to return to our normal level of service," she said.

The organization is also working to rebuild its volunteer base.

Horak said she hopes the organization will be able to reopen it doors of January of 2022. In the meantime, it continues to serve the community through it partnership with DMARC.

WATCH | Maintenance work to blame for fire at Clive Community Services