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Fort Mill church houses 400 seniors displaced by Dorian

The 400 seniors from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina had to evacuate ahead of Dorian making its way towards their retirement community.

FORT MILL, S.C. — As Hurricane Dorian makes its way up the coast, Morningstar Ministries in Fort Mill is housing 400 seniors evacuated from their Hilton Head Island, South Carolina retirement community.

It's the third time Morningstar is hosting seniors evacuating from a hurricane.

"This is my third visit here in the last four years so it's always been great," Tom Conner said. "For myself and my wife, it's summer camp for however long it takes."

Morningside Ministries founder Rick Joyner said they began this program to fulfill his ministry's goal of helping older populations.

"We're not sure how long they're going to be here until they assess the damage to their property," Joyner said. "We're geared up. As long as they can, we're going to take care of them."

Last year, Virginia Tech researchers found the Carolinas have a disproportionately high number of seniors living on the coast, which makes evacuations more challenging.

The study said natural disasters create unique physical and mental health risks for older populations.

Morningstar hopes supporting as many seniors as they can will make hurricane evacuations less stressful.

"Everybody's just been great so they're settled in," Conner said. "They're so well taken care of. There's not a lot to worry about."

Morningstar still needs more volunteers to help take care of the people housed in Fort Mill, and they need more volunteers to head to the coast when it comes time to clean up.