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YMCA of Greater Birmingham offering free access to Ida evacuees

The Greater Birmingham YMCA opening its doors to Hurricane Ida evacuees
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 5:09 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Greater Birmingham YMCA is opening its doors to Hurricane Ida evacuees.

“We were aware we may have evacuees moving through the area and one of our big things is social responsibility and obviously we wanted to be able to open our doors to anyone displaced from Hurricane Ida,” says Mountain Brook Y Membership Director Michael Smith. “Whether they are here for a week or a month – we wanted them to know our doors are open if they need to get out of the hotel or if they are just passing through stop by we will provide towels, take a shower get refreshed and move on.”

There is so much damage from Ida including massive power outages, many evacuees aren’t sure when they will be able to return home.

For the Giarrusso family of New Orleans, having a place to get in a workout has been a big comfort.

“We are really touched its so nice to be able to have a pool, it’s a great stress reliever for all of us,” says Catherine Giarrusso.

She and her 12 and 14 year old daughters evacuated to Birmingham Saturday with her mother in law. Their homes are still standing, but they aren’t sure when they will be able to go back.

“It was weird being cooped up in the hotel and not being able to do anything and this just feels like we are closer to be getting back to normal,” says 14-year-old Sofia Giarrusso.

Her sister Marta agrees “It was just nice to get back in the water and do something that I feel comfortable with.”

Evacuees can visit any of the Greater Birmingham YMCA’s 8 membership branches, all they have to do is show and ID and ask for a Hurricane Ida Guest Registration.

“We are so grateful for all the hospitality we have experienced in Birmingham and so grateful to the Y for letting us use the facility,” says Catherine.

Her mother in law agrees. “The people in Birmingham have been gracious and warm and very thoughtful,” says Robin Giarrusso.

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