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Preparing new space for asylum seekers in Buffalo

“The need is monumental in the United States"
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Posted at 5:23 PM, May 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-04 17:23:14-04

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — New space will soon help people who have escaped difficult lives in other countries.

Jericho Road Community Health Center will turn the former Bristol Home on Main Street in Buffalo into a home for its Vive Shelter program.

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Anna Mongo, chief program officer, Jericho Road.

“You can see that we've already started ripping carpets and doing some of the basic work,” explained Anna Mongo, chief program officer, Jericho Road.

A walk inside the second floor of the former Bristol Home you may recognize this familiar powder blue, Victorian-style building at 1500-Main Street.

The 137-year-old building will soon be transformed into a new Vive shelter to help asylum seekers.

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Inside former Bristol Home.

“This space is so much better suited for what we want for people to really be able to help them work through whatever trauma they've come to,” noted Mongo.

Jericho bought the property for a little more than $2-million to move from its current facility on Wyoming Avenue on the city’s east side to a larger site.

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Future home of Vive.

“For those seeking who are seeking asylum in the U.S. and going through our process, we become much more of a home for those people in that situation,” Mongo remarked.

“The need is monumental in the United States,” declared Matt Time, director, Vive Shelter.

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Jericho's current Vive site on Wyoming in Buffalo.

Tice says so many asylum seekers are traveling from across the globe and finding their way to the queen city for help and temporary shelter.

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Matt Time, director, Vive Shelter.

“We have been serving people from all over the world that are fleeing from really dangerous situations,” replied Time.

The new space will house up to 120-refugees.

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Living space will be refurbished for the Vive program.

Because many are escaping atrocities and trauma from countries like Ukraine, the new home will be developed to offer more living space and solace for individuals, families, and children.

“And we'll just be able to make sure that this can be a place of healing,” Mongo noted.

The new site will offer more privacy for individuals and families, plus outside green space.

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Grounds of future Vive site.

“Those beautiful willow trees and the kids will be able to play outside in our playground in the grass and it's just gorgeous,” reflected Nice.

“They can go outside. They can sit in the various chairs around the property. The children will have a fully enclosed playground. There will be a lot of security,” Mongo responded.

Jericho is hoping to have all of this freshly painted and remodeled and ready by the end of the year.

“It is definitely a dream come true for me,” Mongo said.