NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Many students will be heading back to school Monday, but that is not possible in places where school buildings have been serving as shelters for people who have been left homeless.
As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reported, on Sunday night, Tottenville High School, at 100 Luten Ave. in Staten Island, had long since been transformed transformed into a shelter for john stasio and more than a hundred other people.
“It’s unbelievable. It’s, you know, a godsend,” said John Stasio of Staten Island. “If we didn’t have this, we’d have nowhere to go.”
But because Stasio and others have moved in, the school will remain closed to more than 4,000 students until Wednesday. And it’s not just Tottenville.
“We will have 102 schools that will be closed a week after the storm for a variety of reasons,” said schools Chancellor Dennis Wolcott.
Fifty-seven of those schools were damaged. Twenty-nine had no power as of Sunday night, and Tottenville and 15 others were serving as evacuation centers.
One part of Tottenville High School had been transformed into a donation center, with areas for baby goods, bag upon bag of clothes, and coats — much needed now that the mercury has plummeted.
John Cuccuzza teaches history, but was working this week for the Office of Emergency Management. When classes resume Wednesday, he will be conscious of assigning homework to the newly homeless.
“It’s very traumatic event,” Cuccuzza said. “Hopefully, coming back to school will give them that normalcy that they need.”
But Donel Franco said normalcy for the school kids means she and her 7-week-old and 18-month-old children will have nowhere to go.
“I feel like there’s helping, you know? We lost our home, we have nowhere to go. This place is closing Tuesday, and we still have no idea what we’re going to do,” Franco said.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said there are as many as 40,000 New Yorkers who find themselves without a home and out of easy solutions.
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