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      Grand Island Homeless Shelter Sees Historic Increase

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      Hope Harbor, a transitional homeless shelter in Grand Island, is seeing a record high in the number of children they house -- 31 kids now live at the shelter.

      Executive director at Hope Harbor, Melissa DeLaet, said, "It's not something that we're used to, and not to say we're not prepared to have higher numbers -- we do have the capacity, but we're running through our supply quicker than we normally would." She added, "Historically we don't have anywhere near that many children, maybe roughly 20 or so."

      Brandy Guerrero recently moved to the shelter after she lost her living arrangement. Guerrero said, "It gave me a place to come to when there was nowhere else to go...I work split shifts sometimes so I have turn around and go back to work and it's nice to be able to have a place to come to that I can call a home while I'm trying to get back on my feet."

      Officials said it's getting difficult to provide healthy meals for children who live at the shelter. "We're running very full capacity we have a waiting list to get in," said DeLaet.

      They're in urgent need for donations, asking for diapers, wipes, disinfectants and healthy foods.

      "We're almost completely out of canned fruits, juices things like that," DeLaet said. "When you have children in the shelter we're encouraging them to eat healthy and we want them to give their kids nutritious meals, so we're asking them to give their kids those things but we're also starting to run low on those things."

      More information about Hope Harbor can be found at www.hopeharborgi.org/.

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