DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Many families displaced from the Memorial Day tornadoes are staying at local shelters like St. Vincent de Paul.
The executive director of St. Vincent de Paul, Michael Vanderburgh, said their numbers are up from last year because of the tornadoes, but they are really focusing on long-term relief and some donations from Miami Valley residents could help get those displaced back on their feet.
“Right now, in our emergency shelters, we’re seeing an increase of roughly ten percent from this time the year before,” said Vanderburgh.
He said now, the dust has settled from the tornadoes two weeks ago, and those staying at St. Vincent De Paul have many questions about what assistance is available to help them find a permanent home.
“They might be trying to stay with relatives or friends, but that can only work for so long,” said Vanderburg. “Do they need to stay outside of town in order to find a place, or can we accommodate them here in the area? And that’s what we’re trying to do.”
He said many are concerned because the Dayton-area is their home and they do not want to leave.
Vanderburgh said they do not want them to have to leave the area to find a place to live, so St. Vincent de Paul is working with local governments and other non-profits to find ways to get them settled in a new, affordable home.
He added one big way concerned residents can help is to donate shelf-stable foods like canned meats and peanut butter, as well as furniture items.
“That is a direct way that people who want to give a certain item can really assist,” said Vanderburgh.
But, he advised donating furniture that focuses on three basic needs: sitting, sleeping, and eating.
There is a donation drop-off spot at their location at 120 W. Apple St. in Dayton that is open 24/7.