Norwich YMCA Offers only overnight shelter in Chenango County following storm damage

Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 6:03 PM EDT
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NORWICH, N.Y. (WBNG) -- When some of the first YMCA’s opened in the United States, their original purpose was to serve as a place of respite for workers and others who needed shelter. Years later, the Norwich location is continuing that spirit by opening its doors as the only overnight shelter in Chenango County.

“People don’t realize when you lose power in a rural setting a lot of those basic needs are not being met’ said Executive Director Jamey Mullen.

Mullen says the team at the Norwich Family YMCA has been working through the night since the storm hit on Tuesday.

“As the day progressed we went from people coming into charge of their phones to people coming into shower people coming into fill up their water bottles to take home to flush toilets or to wash, feed animals at home,” Mullen said.

After receiving word of the post-storm conditions of Chenango County from the Director of Emergency Management Matthew Beckwith, Mullen said they were able to have cots and blankets delivered through the American Red Cross of the Southern Tier.

“We had a mother with two children we had several senior citizens who just could not bear staying in their facilities we had a couple of homeless people actually come in and stay and took advantage of that,” said Mullen.

For those staying at the shelter, Mullen says it has not been an easy experience. “It’s real it’s heartbreaking it’s emotional because they’re uncomfortable they’re not in their home and they feel out of place being at a big open facility even while it’s open so you wanna make it comfortable with respect and compassion.”

However, according to Mullen, Norwich and the surrounding community have come together, once again, to help out.

“We have some anonymous people bringing food somebody brought in 12 meals last night. They’re prepared turkey dinners with vegetables and potatoes and the families would heat it up in the microwave... Anonymous donors your kind work has not gone unnoticed,” Mullen said.

Mullen says they are not looking for any donations or any specific items at this time.

Shelter List for Chenango County:

Norwich Family YMCA

68 N Broad St, Norwich, NY 13815

Temporary Overnight Shelter

(607) 336-9622

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