Today was the second time in less than 18 months that Anthony Smith would lose his home. The first time was when Superstorm Sandy destroyed his home in Highlands, NJ.
Not having found a permanent home yet, he had been living at Mariner’s Cove since early February and the day started out as any other. Anthony is a truck driver and he left Mariner’s Cove at 1:35am to pick up his 18 wheeler and head to upstate New York. A friend and fellow resident of Mariner’s Cove called Anthony after the fire to break the news about the tragedy and tell him where to go for assistance. “He told me to go to the Red Cross, that the Red Cross was going to help everyone.” On his way home Anthony stopped at the Red Cross Chapter w/ his 18 wheeler. The tractor trailer had to be parked across the street as it couldn’t fit in the lot. Anthony said the moment he walked in the door everyone treated him warmly and welcomed him. Closer to the fire scene there was a staging area where clients were being interviewed by volunteers and Anthony went there for his interview. He felt surprised by the welcome he received there too. H e said he was not affected as much as the other motor lodge residents because he wasn’t on site when the fire occurred but felt the impact may creep in a little later. Anthony said “I couldn’t believe that as soon as red cross people saw me they greeted me so warmly w/ smiles. They made me feel like I was coming home.” Anthony was provided emergency assistance, care and comfort with hope for the new road ahead through the generous support of our donors who make it possible to provide services like this when help can’t wait.