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Homeless shelters prepare for more people seeking shelter during Hurricane Sandy

Posted at: 10/27/2012 11:47 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion

Preparations are underway in Rochester for Hurricane Sandy.

RG&E is preparing for possible outages, people are stocking up on food and water and the Red Cross is calling on people to donate blood in case of an emergency, but for the homeless in our community the storm can be even more dangerous.

News10NBC went to the open door mission on Saturday night to find out how the homeless are preparing.

While people are out preparing for the storm hundreds are just trying to find a place to stay. One of Rochester's most popular shelters says it will keep it's doors open for anyone in need even though they are struggling to keep up with the demand.

Just days before the big storm hits the Open Door Mission is already over capacity. Supervisor Raymond Santiago says, "If they had kept coming I wouldn't have known how we were going to feed people." He continues, "They just didn't fit here. We were running out of food."

The Open Door Mission made it through Saturday night, managing to feed and shelter 108 people, which was nine more than expected. Some people even made it off with second helpings.

Now that Hurricane Sandy is on the horizon Supervisor Santiago says the shelter could use a little help of its own.  He says they shelter always need, "Blankets, sleeping bags, hygiene cosmetics and pillows."

Most of these men and women do not have anywhere to go. Even though the shelter is stretched thin they couldn't bring themselves to turn anyone away. These are people who they say have become like family. One lady says, "I like coming here. This is my home away from home." Shelter seeker Nicholas says, "They do a really good job with that. They always get everyone fed. They take care of everyone."

Troy Silas began seeking shelter once he heard about the big storm. He says, "I never dealt with the 50 mile per hour wind but it will be interesting." Silas is one of the many homeless in Rochester who will rely on the shelter for protection within the next few days. It's a responsibility officials here say they share, pulling through for the less fortunate.

Silas says, "It's hard to find places like this. Even at full capacity, they had the doors open. That's why they call it the Open Door Mission."

The Open Door Mission is accepting any and all donations to prepare for the big storm. For more information, visit their website.