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American Red Cross helping Cosmo Extended Stay Motel residents with shelter, relief

SODUS TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- A majority of the rooms at the Cosmo Extended Stay Motel have been boarded up.

This comes after the motel was condemned.

Construction workers say township laws require the rooms to be boarded up for safety at condemned buildings.

They added that some residents of the Cosmo Extended Stay Motel spent much of Wednesday trying to gather what was left of their belongings.

Not much is left there; burn marks, boarded up rooms, and a growing memorial filled with teddy bears and candles for the mother and her five young children, who died in Saturday’s fire in Sodus Township.

Mourners even took to writing on the street with chalk.

Messages like ‘Rest in Peace’ and “Love You’ can clearly be seen by the memorial at the motel.

But in this tragic time, it’s the American Red Cross that is helping out the residents of the now-condemned motel.

Those affected by the fire can go to the Upton Middle School to receive shelter and support from the American Red Cross, among other resources.

Joe Leahy, who is a Shelter Associate at the American Red Cross, said the Red Cross has been at the Upton Middle School since Saturday afternoon to assist residents from the motel in a capacity of ways.

“They can bring their families, they can get meals and food. There’s no charges for this,” said Leahy.

Red cross staff are also trained as counselors to help those that lost so much in the fire.

Leahy calls what residents have gone through traumatic.

“Part of it is listening,” said Leahy. “They’ve gone through a serious tragedy. And so, they like to talk about it, or they talk about family.”

Among other things, the organization just wants to let those affected know that they’re here to help.

“Anybody that has been impacted by that fire, it’s good to come [to the middle school] so they can understand they’re not alone, and that there are people in the community that can help them,” said Leahy. “Please come, we’re your neighbors, and we’re her to support you.”

Leahy said the organization has had around 20 people stay at the shelter.

Only one resident was at the shelter while ABC 57 News was there Thursday afternoon.

Leahy says this is because most of the residents are out looking for housing and employment opportunities during the day.

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