Multi-Agency Resource Center in north St. Louis reaches capacity just after opening; state to open more centers next week

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 10:13 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - Some residents in the region were turned away from the Multi-Agency Resource Center for the second day in a row.

The resource center for flood victims at the Friendly Temple Church reached capacity on Friday shortly after it opened at 3 p.m.

On Thursday, the resource center in University City reached capacity quickly too.

Angela Conway thought she would get the help she needed at the resource center in University City on Thursday.

After nine hours of waiting in line, Conway says that help didn’t come.

“I was just so overwhelmed I didn’t know what to do,” Conway says.

Conway went to the center in North City on Friday, desperate to finally get access to those resources.

“I’m feeling helpless,” Conway says. “That’s how I’m feeling. I need help. We need help. The whole block in U City needs help and hopefully, we can get it.”

Lines started early again on Friday outside the Friendly Temple Church. By noon, there were already more than 50 people in line.

Yvonne Mosely-Curry got in line at the center by 1:30 p.m. but says she never made it inside.

Just after 3 p.m. when the resource center opened, it reached full capacity.

“As a result of taking the overflow from University City and Florissant, it knocked us out,” Mosely-Curry says. “They didn’t take any of us that were supposed to be here from 3-8.”

On Thursday, the center helped 1,376 people.

After seeing the demand for resources, the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) brought in additional workers to try to meet the need.

However, SEMA Deputy Director Terry Cassil says he didn’t anticipate just how many people needed help.

“People come from apartment complexes,” Cassil says. “The first floor of the apartment complex was affected by the flood but maybe there’s not water for the entire facility so those people are coming. There’s just more people than we anticipated. Plus, I don’t know that we’ve ever done a MARC in an urban setting. There’s just so many people and the need I think, for one thing, the need is very large in this area.”

SEMA plans to open more resource centers next week from Tuesday through Saturday. However, Cassil says no location or official plan has been made yet.

Cassil says the goal is to bring in even more workers to help at those additional resource centers.

For Conway, these resources won’t bring back what she lost. However, this will help her start to rebuild.

“I’ve been there for 28 years and most of my life is in the dumpster somewhere,” Conway says.

The resource center at Friendly Temple Church is open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Resource centers are also opening in East St. Louis this weekend.

Saturday, August 6, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., East St. Louis High School, 4901 State St., East St. Louis, IL - United Way is coordinating with partner agencies including city, county and state officials.

Sunday, August 7, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., East St. Louis High School, 4901 State St., East St. Louis, IL - United Way is coordinating with partner agencies including city, county and state officials.