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Vive shelter filled to max capacity with refugees

150 asylum-seekers are living in the shelter
Posted at 6:07 PM, Jan 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-16 18:07:07-05

BUFFLAO, N.Y. (WKBW) — 150 people. All under one roof in Buffalo. Jericho Road' s Vive Shelter on Wyoming Ave will soon be at max capacity.

"It was completely unexpected. We knew that a couple families were coming and more people than we expected actually showed up," said Dr. Anna Mongo, Chief Program Officer.

The same thing happened last summer. A group of 25 families showed up at the shelter. This is an entirely new group, coming mainly from African countries, The Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola.

"Our partners are filtering them up this way because they knew we had space, that we had capacity to make sure they had legal services and community support," said Dr. Mongo.

With one more group on the way, Vive will be at max capacity. The difference this time is that families seem to be bigger and they want to stay in Buffalo. They stay at Vive until they find their next step.

In this process, they also need legal help.

"They need to see an immigration judge. For the most part, people have come to the U.S. without a visa or some authorization to do so ahead of time. It can take years," said Bryan Overland, Legal Services Manager.

During their stay, they need your help as well. To volunteer legal services, contact Journey's End. To donate directly to the center click here. To donate items from their Amazon wishlist, click here.