AC shelter closes, dozens in the streets

November 11, 2012 6:34:41 AM PST
Dozens of people who had been staying in a shelter since Hurricane Sandy hit are out on the streets again Saturday night. The shelter they have been staying in has been closed.

For almost two weeks, those displaced by Sandy have been in the Atlantic City Convention Center shelter.

It was closed Saturday forcing out dozens of upset families who were left on the sidewalk with their belongings earlier in the day.

"I talked to FEMA and FEMA keeps on saying your claim is on hold, your claim is on hold but where's everyone going to sleep tonight?" asked Joe Bachman.

FEMA and Atlantic City officials say they are still working on getting people into transitional housing.

"We have no other options and we don't know what to do. We have children. People are pregnant, and it's just messed up," said Jamilah Anderson.

Confusion and anger took over as people confronted FEMA and city Emergency Management officials who said it was time for the shelter to close.

Many like Randy Goulding are still waiting on transitional housing.

"FEMA is telling us our application is pending. Now we're on the street. We have nowhere to go, no food, no shelter, we're cold. I have broken toe. I can't walk, I'm in a wheelchair. I have all my clothes," said Randy Goulding.

"All shelters have to come to an end," said Tom Foley from AC Emergency Management. "This particular one came to an end so we are looking for alternatives for people if FEMA cannot get them into any type shelter operation right now."

Action News was at the convention center a few days ago when Eagles quarterback Michael Vick toured the shelter and spent time with those impacted by Sandy.

Emergency Management Chief Tom Foley says many of the people are from Atlantic City but others were transferred from a Pleasantville, West Atlantic City area shelter when it closed earlier in the week.

"Some of these people are not even from Atlantic city they're from other states and other towns. We're trying to take care of the Atlantic City people first. That's our job," Foley said.

FEMA says they working to get people impacted by Sandy squared away as quickly as possible.

Some found shelter Saturday night in the rescue mission behind the convention center while Emergency Management says they were working to get hotel vouchers into the hands of others.


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