How Sandy Brought one of New Jersey’s Homeless “Home”
For many of us, the anticipation and effects of Super Storm Sandy brought out fears and concerns including, would we have a warm place to sleep at night? This is the dilemma faced by the 11, 721 homeless men, women and children who were counted in New Jersey in January 2012.
And in all of that might be the answer to the fears of people who cannot be comforted by the usual assurances. “I didn’t know where to go but I knew this storm was coming and I had to be somewhere safe,” says Raul Silva, 60. Yesterday, the Elizabeth police brought him to a shelter run by The Salvation Army.
“A few days ago, Stacey Dixon, 44, was living under a railroad overpass in Elizabeth. All the talk was about how he and the other homeless would drown, maybe even freeze, in this once in a century storm. Someone gave him an address of a place, maybe 20 blocks away, where he could escape the storm. He didn’t recognize the address but Dixon began walking.
He stood in front of the place and could not believe what he saw. It was a building that had been his first home when he was a child. A small, multi-family turned into a shelter by The Salvation Army.
‘The storm brought me home,’ says Stacey Dixon.”
Why does it take a Super Storm like Sandy to shelter the homeless? Why can’t we work to make sure everyone has a place to call home everyday of the year, not just during the storm?