The VIVE refugee shelter in Buffalo celebrated the installation of its new playground Monday. The organization serves refugees placed throughout New York State and Canada and currently houses more than 100 adults, 40 of whom are children.
The new play set cost roughly $15,000, including installation, and was funded by two grants. It replaced a more than 25-year-old set that was deemed unsafe for use.
Executive Director Angela Jordan Mosley says the organization delayed opening the playground for two weeks because it couldn’t afford mulch. She says that’s when First Niagara stepped in and donated $2,200 for rubber mulch to be put in.
“When you look at the 3,000 to 4,000 people who walk through the doors of VIVE each year, you can see the need for having a playground when 65% of the population is women and children. So we’re looking at 1,500 to 2,000 children who will enjoy a playground area,” said Mosley.
Mosley says the playground will give the kids who live at VIVE a place to unwind during the summer and school months.
“This playground has been a lifesaving measure for us as the staff, as well as their parents, that the children have an area to go and play like any other child that lives in a house environment,” said Mosley.
Mosley says the shelter also plans to put up new fencing to make the space even more secure for child residents.