City officials have labeled Sister Jean’s Kitchen, a charity located in a 163-year-old church in Atlantic City, as unsafe. The charity, which is decades old, has been forced to vacate the premises. Though the non-profit originally planned to relocate, such plans have fallen through, leaving individuals without another option for where to move it.
Hurricane Sandy Causes Great Damage
The Victory First Presbyterian Church was first damaged in 2012 by Hurricane Sandy, which demolished much of the Jersey shore. Since that time, its condition has only continued to worsen. Following an inspection, the director of the city’s licensing and inspection department found the church to be unsafe.
According to the city construction department official, the inspection showed that there was deterioration that made the premises unsafe. This included both interior and exterior deficiencies, such as rot. He explained that prior to repairing all engineering issues, as shared in an engineering report, the church could not be used.
CRDA Offers Money for Charity’s New Location
Without having a report that thoroughly explains the structural issues and repairs made on those issues, the church would be considered entirely unsafe. Sister Jean’s Kitchen serves 300 meals per day. The charity was planning on moving to another church more than a year ago. The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) approved Sister Jean’s Kitchen redevelopment for up to $1 million. Initially the project was estimated by the CRDA at $936,121.
However, upon inspection by a local developer and co-owner of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, who offered to help manage construction for free, the relocation proposal did not provide for certain building code requirements, including the Americans with Disabilities Act or certain new laws after Hurricane Sandy. This meant that cost estimates for the project would need to be increased. Unfortunately, the CRDA’s coverage would not be enough. Sister Jean’s Kitchen currently lacks a certificate of occupancy for the intended new location, which still does not meet code.
Despite freezers and pantries full of food, the local homeless must now look elsewhere for food, though several people have said that other places in the city often run out of food.
A property owner has a duty of care to uphold safety to visitors on their property. Failure to do so results in injuries and potential lawsuits. To prove negligence on behalf of the property owner, one must prove that that owner knew of the hazard and failed to repair it in timely fashion to prevent any potential accidents. Documentation of the accident scene and any injuries will also help prove negligence in a lawsuit.
Cherry Hill Premises Liability Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Help Those Injured on Another’s Property
If you or a loved one has been injured on another’s property, this can have a negatory impact on your ability to carry out normal tasks. You should not have to pay for the negligence of another. At DiTomaso Law, our Cherry Hill premises liability lawyers work with individuals who are experiencing physical, emotional, and financial harm. If you would like to learn more or wish to schedule a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 856-414-0010 today. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey.