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Welcome hurricane survivors <br> Buffalo rolling out red carpet, as expected, for Gulf residents

More victims of the Gulf Coast storms are scheduled to arrive here this week. While persons displaced by Hurricane Katrina already have sought shelter with relatives and acquaintances here, the first evacuees directed by the federal government are due for placement in vacant public housing here. The numbers are small, but the needs may be great. It's time for the City of Good Neighbors to once again live up to that name.

Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority officials, following a federal mandate to place storm evacuees at the top of waiting lists, readied units in the Lyndon B. Johnson Towers and Ferry-Grider housing complex for the first two families expected this week, and more than two dozen more may arrive in the days ahead.

Some storm refugees already here are waiting for apartments, worrying about furnishings, trying to get kids settled into schools. About 520 storm survivors are here, brought in by family or church groups, and many still need stability.

But they are welcome. We can't promise a Louisiana or Mississippi winter, but there is warmth in the hearts of Western New Yorkers and we can offer help and hope for a new start.

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