DETROIT (WJBK) - A suspected arson fire destroyed several houses on Detroit's east side, including one that was being used by a local church as a shelter to help the homeless. Now, those at all God's People Church are trying to pick up the pieces while investigators search for the suspect.
"This was like, our homeless shelter to help the families," says Pastor W. J. Rideout. "The hurting families and hurt people."
People who were already hurting now have nowhere to go.
"One mother here has two babies, twins, and her fiancé," Rideout says. "And then another young man and another young lady."
Four adults and two small children are now scattered after the fire Monday afternoon that started at the house next door then spread to this shelter. Pastor Rideout says it's an arson investigation.
"I don't know if someone had a problem with whoever on the other side," Rideout says. "However, whatever situation they had, they hurt my four individuals who were dear to me."
Amongst the rubble were a new washer and dryer. Rideout had spent thousands of dollars making this a home for the homeless in this community.
"We put time money effort in here," he says. "I just need to reach out to them and to all the families and see what we can do to re-set them and re-establish them in a place, and a safe haven to live."
For a pastor who spends so much time fighting the blight in his neighborhood and fighting for families, offering food, clothing, shelter, school supplies - he could now use a little help of his own.
"We do a lot here. We don't just talk it; we do it," Rideout says. "So as I've helped many, well maybe it's time that people pour it back into us so that we can help these four families that are hurting."
Anyone with housing or donations to the family can contact Rideout at (313) 492-5009 or email him at RIDEOUT333@GMAIL.COM