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Jericho Road buys former Bristol Home site on Main Street, will relocate Vive Shelter there

WBFO file photo
Vive Shelter, currently located on Wyoming Avenue, will relocate to the former Bristol Home on Main Street later this year. Jericho Road, which oversees Vive, plans to keep the existing facility.

The Vive Shelter, which has served an estimated 100,000 asylum seekers for nearly 40 years, will move later this year into a new space.

Jericho Road Community Health Center, which has overseen the shelter since 2015, has acquired the former Bristol Home assisted living center at 1500 Main Street in Buffalo for $2,050,000, according to the organization.

Vive Shelter currently operates at 50 Wyoming Avenue, a former school building. That space is estimated at 24,000 square feet, while the Bristol Home site measures approximately 38,500 square feet.

However, Vive Shelter director Matt Tice says the purpose of the larger space is not to increase capacity. Rather, it will provide the same level of residents more comforts and amenities, including dorm rooms which will give them more privacy than at the Wyoming Avenue site. Plans also include a clinic space.

“All of those things are phenomenal for us. We'll be able to offer some other additional amenities, things like a computer lab where people can work on their asylum application or communicate with friends and family back home. We'll have some other more quiet spaces where where families can just relax and have some peace and quiet.”

Jericho Road plans to keep the current Vive Shelter property on Wyoming Avenue but has not decided what to do with the former school building. In the meantime, other buildings on the Bristol Home property that now serve as rental units will remain that way, and current tenants will be allowed to stay.

The hope is to complete renovations at the Main Street site and have clients living there by the end of this year, preferably before the start of winter.

“It's ready suited for us in many ways. We do need to make sure that we can add in more showers. We want to change around some of the space layout. We want to build out the clinic. We want to do a few other things, but it's much more ready for us to go than maybe much more raw space,” Tice said.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.