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Friends of the Homeless is a Port in the Storm For Many

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Friends of the Homeless on Worthington Street started to see more people because of Hurricane Sandy starting Sunday for dinner. There was a record turnout then and for lunch on Monday, too. Executive Director Bill Miller expects the large numbers to continue throughout the storm. And he wants to make sure people understand they’re there to help anyone needing shelter.

“This is their home,” said Miller. “We’re fortunate in springfield that we were able to build a place that’s open and can be open 24 hours a day because you can’t imagine being out on the streets during the day. Where would you go?”

“We were here during the tornado, the storms later in the year last year,” said Miller. “We’re prepared.”

An emergency plan has been put in place at the shelter. Extra blankets and towels are on hand along with paper and plastic ware. If power goes out, they won’t be able to use laundry or dish washing machines.

They don’t have a generator in the dormitory building. So if power goes out, they’ll shift people to the main building where they do have one. Contingency plans for staff to get back and forth to work are also in place.

They don’t know how many people to expect because of Hurricane Sandy. But they won’t turn anyone away.

“A State of Emergency’s been declared,” said Miller. “It’s absolutely life-threatening to be out there. We certainly hope and pray that nobody’s out there on the streets.”