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Tent City at Racetrack Now Housing Evacuees from Toms River

Hundreds were moved to Monmouth Park as temporary shelters around the area begin to shut down.

As local shelters set up to house those displaced by the ravages of Hurricane Sandy begin to close, hundreds of evacuees were moved to the giant tents erected at Monmouth Park for shelter on Wednesday, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Toms River Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Paul Daley told Toms River Patch that the shelter at Toms River High School North's Pine Belt Arena began to break down Wednesday night.

Toms River Regional Schools have been closed throughout the storm response as two of their buildings are operating as shelters. But the district plans to reopen for school Monday, Nov. 12. 

”Owners of the original shelters told us the needed to go back to normal business,” said Red Cross spokeswoman Anne Marie Borrego.

According to the article, about two dozen buses from Monmouth University brought evacuees -- many of them old and disabled -- to be sheltered at the racetrack site that consists of about a dozen giant white tents that are bolted to the ground. They were joined by evacuees from other local shelters, and Red Cross workers were told to expect up to 2,000 to arrive on Wednesday.

The "tent city" was erected to serve as staging and a hospitality site for the thousands of utility workers that have descended in Monmouth County to help restore power to residents following Hurricane Sandy.

Oceanport Mayor Michael Mahon told Patch that he anticipated the tents to remain up and running for a minimum of two more weeks.

In Toms River, approximately 1,000 evacuees were checked in the shelters since the storm response. Many barrier island residents remain homeless as access to the barrier island communities is still prohibited, with officials advising the rebuild effort there taking six to eight months.

Karin Krueger November 09, 2012 at 12:53 AM
The people in the shelters were only to go there if no other options so they probably could not make any other arrangements, but leaving their animals, what is going on?
Karin Krueger November 09, 2012 at 12:55 AM
I offered to take in a kid friendly pet or two for people in the shelter, again with references, we have fostered and babysat animals before. I got the run around for days and finally gave up.
Rachel Tomasi November 09, 2012 at 12:55 AM
And having to have their animals in another part of same sight is one thing as some evacuees have allergies but moving them far away is so heartless. I'm sure we can all volunteer a crate or supplies. Many of us sent out kids to be warm (those with intact homes without power) and stayed to keep our pets from freezing or being lonely. That would devastate me; read about the pet owners being separated yesterday.
Laura Gobis November 09, 2012 at 12:56 AM
I am sorry there have been MUCH money donated to the Red Cross for these victims, WTH is going on? Where is the money?
Susan DeAngelo November 09, 2012 at 12:58 AM
its a shame, I don't know why they don't take people up on their offers of help. I would gladly give up my bed to help someone. My place is small, but it has electric and heat and hot water and a stove to cook on! I am a chha and would be willing to help out, but I can't get any answers from anyone! It frustrates me that people are willing to help with what ever resourses they have and are turned away from helping! there has to be someone on top that we all can get to! We are all dealing with enough from these 2 storms, let the ones who can help in any way help!
Chef Christopher Huber November 09, 2012 at 12:58 AM
This is the most obscene thing i have ever seen.. I just spent 120 of 144 hours cooking for first responders and the sheltered in Toms River High East. Red Cross and FEMA are the most disgusting and unprofessional organizations i have ever seen. I saw the exact same thing happen during Katrina. These two organizations should step up or close down. At Toms River East the volunteers are the ones that found all the displaced hotel rooms and places to go with little to no help from anybody else.. I tip my had to the people who volunteered there and just proved that we dont need the red cross or FEMA... It was a beautiful thing to see people helping people...
dainty November 09, 2012 at 01:05 AM
I also went to TRHS North and offered to Foster I was told they arent taking fosters yet as they wanted to reunite every dog and owner. Where those 300 animals now? I offered Monday night, live in TR and had electricity. I was also looking to loan a bedroom to a local, from the calls I received back? NO one must need help. and I know thats not true!
dainty November 09, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Sounds like its going to be at least 2 weeks. What then?
dainty November 09, 2012 at 01:07 AM
If I'm correct, FEMA and Red Cross do not take care of animals. Please correct me if I'm wrong*
Chef Christopher Huber November 09, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Ok.. After listening to peoples ranting about if you have a better fix for these displaced people here it is... It is very simple... Tell the government to forget about all the extra tax money they get for this place and open up Fort monmouth.. There is housing, a hanger that can hold thousands of cots, showers, laundry, a mess hall, and all the accomodations people need to survive somewhat comfortably. does not have to be forever but it will give people a chance to find other places to live, work and all of that type of stuff. You can have classes for these people on how to find apartments. I gave up all my time to help these people when they were in the shelters around here. I am sure there is plenty more people to volunteer to teach these people and feed these people and all of that.. There was so many people who wanted to volunteer down here that they were getting turned away because we had so many.. Come on people this is the best option for these people.. Stay strong JERSEY STRONG.
jennifer November 09, 2012 at 01:49 AM
This is heartless. I'm disgusted that more concern for these people's well being and dignity is being denied. Placing seniors in a tent in the middle of winter is heartless. I know nothing about fort Monmouth but it seems like a great alternative. Please treat them like your own family! I'm truly sickened ...i
Rontr November 09, 2012 at 01:57 AM
This what happen in new orleans fema kicks out people out of red cross shelters send them to tent city(astrodome) .starting to look like the conspiracy fema camps as seen you tube coming true, Just remember u voted Obama he loves fema , romney would of let the red cross take of every thing, , i dont think red cross would send people to tent
Nadine November 09, 2012 at 02:08 AM
The Red Cross is a great organization....they were coming door to door in my neighborhood that had been without power until today....Now the Red Cross is volunteers, correct? FEMA is not....they are run by our government...Seems like the blame is misplaced.....FEMA & our local government are the ones who should be doing something to solve this issue...If people think they can do more than other volunteers, then stop talking and go out and do something....great job to all the volunteers, including The Red Cross....
Chef Christopher Huber November 09, 2012 at 02:19 AM
The Red Cross is not ok when they charge displaced people in a shelter a dollar for a cup of coffee. First of all the coffee is not theirs.. It was donated to the people. The people that ran the shelters i was trying to help in were some of the rudest people i have ever met.. That is my problem with the Red Cross.. they are scam artists in my opinion.. I do apologize if i offend anybody but if you saw what i saw you would feel the same way
karen November 09, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Everyone with complaints on here please take them to the governors office and try and make some kind of difference. Such heartbreaking stories I truly hope that the governor would make an attempt to help these people!!!
Ricardo Jack Zulueta Jr. November 09, 2012 at 03:15 AM
I have read a lot of the negative comments concerning the inefficiency of The Red Cross... and it only validates my reasoning for starting saveourshore.org, where we are going to attempt to have contributions from supporters help the victims more directly.
Rontr November 09, 2012 at 04:32 AM
i think its fema to blame not red cross
Christen November 09, 2012 at 11:58 AM
I'm in VA and people here are sending things but haven't seen ANYTHING like this on the news- we had NO idea. Someone is making sure we don't see this disregard for life and dignity!
Stacy Dickenson November 09, 2012 at 12:22 PM
All the pets did get left without their owners....The pets were going to a different shelter. Pet owners were told the pets would follow them...... I feel just horrible for the pets and their owners.....It really makes me wanna cry!!! A PET IS EVERYTHING to these people!!!!! :0(((((((((
Mike L November 09, 2012 at 01:12 PM
In reply to Chef Huber, looks like nothing has changed with the Red Cross, many many many years ago there was a commercial plane that crashed on Sterling Place/6th Avenue in Brooklyn NY...I lived there and there were two organizations there helping the displaced, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. The Red Cross was charging for coffee, blankets, sandwiches, etc....but the Salvation Army was giving everything for free. The Red Cross volunteers are foundation of the company and do everything with a open heart, it's the upper organization that requires being paid and then the monies left funnels down to those who need help and then they are charged to refill the coffers. The Salvation Army on the other hand, gives everything for free and asks for nothing. Thats why we see the Kettles at the Holidays for donations, they will always get something from me!!!!!!
john buckley November 09, 2012 at 06:07 PM
the red cross is not all its crack up to be. there hundreds of people bringing clothes but the red cross locked them in a room and did not give them out. some people were still soaked and mud covers and who knows what else on them for days but the red cross wouldn't give then clothes because they were not new. I bought clothes thought the animal shelter door so the red cross would not stop me. The man in charge of the school would unlock the room when there was no red cross guards around. Anything you tied to do the red cross was more worried about their image than helping the people you had to struggle to help them get the things needed including medication. their was a family who had to go pick their 4 month old from the hospital who pneumonia just to bring her to tent city or she would be separated from her family. all they cared about was getting everyone out to tent city in three hours.
Gerald Shea November 09, 2012 at 06:42 PM
I live in Myrtle Beach, but am from New Jersey. My anger is at the media and FEMA for allowing a tent city to be used as temporary housing for displaced residents from these terrible storms and thenfinding out from my sister living in NJ via text today rather than hearing about this on the national news. My sister told me officials will no longer allow people in or out of the tent city because they do not want the news of the deplorable living conditions of these evacuees to be made public.
Marianne November 09, 2012 at 07:03 PM
This sounds so bad, really, really bad. Especially the part about them loading the people on the bus and telling them that their pets would be coming a little later and then taking the pets to a different shelter. Also the part about the snow and having to walk to port o potties. Has anybody actually been to the tent city to see these people? Are these stories true? I live in Texas and I know when Katrina hit, as soon as the disaster made national news, we started taking in the people from New Orleans - but it had to make national news first. Maybe Anderson Cooper or some other newspersons needs to raise hell about this. It makes me heartsick.
Ashcoco99 November 09, 2012 at 08:03 PM
The school district says that they r ready for the kids on Monday but most of them are not ready or displaced...like my kids ...and can't get there and if we go back we have no heat or electricity......can't do that .... We have 2 dogs and have to stay with them at a friends house......tell me toms river regional schools what will u do about this... Will the kids be counted as absent .. Can they have a note will that count...what kind of note?they also have no food for there lunches!
Laura Gobis November 09, 2012 at 11:06 PM
I did personally email this article to ABC, NBC and the local 12 news here. Local 12 did run a story on this today but nothing in mainstream media.
john buckley November 10, 2012 at 03:50 AM
I was in tent city this afternoon they are bringing four bus loads of new people and putting them in the race track buildings. They also plan to move the people in tents into the buildings this weekend. The only two problems I seen today are the showers are outside and the cots are falling because there like lawn chairs. they have found a lot of people motel rooms in Atlantic county and the town of Millville. It's far were these people want to be but better than a tent.
Jodi November 10, 2012 at 05:02 AM
Exactly, I stopped donating to them when I heard the ceo or whomever is at the top made 6 or 7 figure salary!!!! Very crooked!
Nadine November 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM
@ashcoco99 I am not sure what schools your children go to in Toms River, but Silver Bay Elementary this week is open from 3pm to 5pm giving out donations to hurricane victims, if you need stuff for you and your family they should have it...hope this helps you and any others looking for extra resources for their families
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Marianne December 05, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Has there been any update on this story? I am hoping that all who were in the tent city at the racetrack have found other accomodations, but I would like to know for sure. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

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