Haven Min­istries opens shel­ter

Haven Min­istries of­fers a way to ‘fill the gap’ while Kent Is­landers get back on their feet

Sunday Star - - FRONT PAGE - By HAN­NAH COMBS hcombs@kibay­times.com

Haven Min­istries opened a dis­as­ter re­lief shel­ter Fri­day, July 28, in re­sponse to cit­i­zens need­ing longer term shel­ter after the tor­nado.

STEVENSVILLE — Haven Min­istries opened a dis­as­ter re­lief shel­ter at 11 a.m. Fri­day, July 28, in re­sponse to cit­i­zens need­ing longer-term shel­ter after the tor­nado.

The shel­ter will be open around the clock un­til 7:30 a.m. Mon­day, July 31, at its des­ig­nated space in Kent Is­land United Methodist Church in Ch­ester.

Haven Min­istries Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor Krista Pet­tit said the shel­ter an­tic­i­pated two or three in­di­vid­u­als need­ing a tem­po­rary space and pos­si­bly two to three fam­i­lies. As dur­ing the win­ter, the shel­ter can ac­com­mo­date 15 in­di­vid­u­als with the cur­rent sleep­ing ar­range­ments in place.

Pet­tit said the shel­ter is of­fer­ing is a way to “fill the gap” for those dis­placed by the tor­nado that dam­aged homes on Kent Is­land.

For some, in­sur­ance for short­term ho­tel stays has run out, she said. Others still may be wait­ing for claims to pro­vide rental money, and in one in­stance, Pet­tit said, a per­son whose home was still stand­ing was in­spected and con­demned.

Startin Mon­day, July 31, the shel­ter will be open 5 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., with trans­porta­tion ser­vices from the shel­ter to the re­source cen­ter at St Paul’s Epis­co­pal Church in Centreville for day­time ser­vices (and back again).

As the week pro­gresses, Petitt said, or­ga­niz­ers will as­sess the need to de­ter­mine how long the lo­ca­tion will re­main open as a dis­as­ter re­lief shel­ter.

Haven Min­istries en­cour­ages any­one in need of shel­ter to go to the sec­ond floor at Kent Is­land United Methodist Church, 2739 Cox Neck Road in Ch­ester, when the shel­ter is open. The phone num­ber to reach the shel­ter is 410739-7859.

On Thurs­day, July 27, the first day the Red Cross Cri­sis Re­sponse Cen­ter was open at Mat­a­peake Ele­men­tary, Sen. Steve Her­shey and Del. Jeff Ghrist, both R-36, stopped to speak with aid work­ers and vic­tims of the tor­nado.

The two took time to re­as­sure those left with dam­age from the storm that all agen­cies were work­ing to­gether closely and quickly to re­solve the dam­age caused by the storm and safely see peo­ple back in their homes.

Gus Peck­aitis, a res­i­dent af­fected by the storm, shared with Her­shey and Ghrist his per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence. Peck­aitis said many neigh­bors he and his wife did not even know had re­sponded with of­fers of food and shel­ter. Home De­pot vol­un­teers showed up at Peck­aitis’ home less than 24 hours after a phone call was made to of­fer to help vet­er­ans or fire depart­ment mem­bers in need. Pe­cakaitis is both, he said.

Pe­cakaitis also praised the quick re­sponse of the lo­cal fire de­part­ments.

“Within 20 min­utes of the storm hit­ting, it seemed like ev­ery fire depart­ment within a 50-mile ra­dius had re­sponded,” he said, adding his neigh­bor­hood, “looked like a war zone at the time.”

Peck­aitis and his wife lost a 12foot sec­tion out of the side of their home, and mul­ti­ple ve­hi­cles were lost due to fallen trees. They were at the re­lief cen­ter to see what re­sources were avail­able, they said.

Any­one need­ing food, cloth­ing, house­hold clean­ing sup­plies or hy­giene prod­ucts can see one of Haven Min­istries’ vol­un­teers or staff at the Red Cross Cri­sis Re­sponse Cen­ter at Mat­a­peake Ele­men­tary School, op­er­a­tional un­til Thurs­day, Aug. 3, or call 410-739-4363.

The An­i­mal Wel­fare League also is of­fer­ing food for pets af­fected by the storm and other sup­plies, such as leashes.

The Red Cross and county agen­cies, including the Depart­ment of So­cial Ser­vices, An­i­mal Con­trol and An­i­mal Wel­fare League, Sher­iff’s Of­fice, Depart­ment of Health and a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from plan­ning and zon­ing, are all avail­able to meet with any­one who may have been af­fected by the storm. Th­ese ser­vices, along with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from All­state, Na­tion­wide, State Farm, Erie and USAA in­sur­ance, are avail­able on­site at Mat­a­peake Ele­men­tary School.

The cen­ter is open noon to 5 p.m. Sun­day, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mon­day through Thurs­day.

For more in­for­ma­tion, go to www. qac.org or call 410-758-4500.

PHO­TOS BY HAN­NAH COMBS

Ef­forts con­tinue Thurs­day, July 27, to re­move de­bris from the com­mu­nity of Bay City.

PHOTO BY HAN­NAH COMBS

Je­sus Car­rillo, Red Cross Vol­un­teer, as­sists at Mat­a­peake Ele­men­tary.

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