BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Jericho Road Community Health Center, a local organization that has been critical in helping refugees from around the world is expanding.

Leaders at Jericho Road said the physical layout of their current Vive shelter on Wyoming Avenue, is no longer suitable for the thousands of people they see every year.

Refugees and asylum seekers at times, have a lack of privacy, families because of spacing issues at times are split up and there are costly repairs to the building.

The move to the former Bristol Home on Main Street, which used to be an assisted living facility is supposed to alleviate these issues because it’s larger and the building is more modern.

Families will also be able to stay together and not be split up like they currently are.

“The current location which has been a blessing to us was not designed to be what it is and we’ve been making it work and we’ve been thankful for it, but this building is actually designed to be a place of respite and healing,” said Dr. Anna Mongo, the chief program officer at Jericho Road.

Right now, the plan is for renovations to the Bristol Home to happen during the spring and summer months and for the Vive shelter to move into the Bristol Home by the end of the year.

Even though Jericho Road’s Vive Shelter is moving into a larger facility, the capacity limit will not change. It will remain 120 residents — so as to provide them with a more comfortable stay.

The Vive shelter sees refugees from around and with the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, it is starting to see refugees from Ukraine.

“As far as Buffalo is concerned, Vive is often at the cutting edge of receiving people who are experiencing whatever the major conflict is at any given moment and experiencing people who are literally running for their lives,” Mongo said.

Future plans for the current shelter have not been released.

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Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.