Red Cross Shelter closes with families still displaced

Local

The Red Cross opened it’s doors at Morning Star Baptist Church last week to help Harvey evacuees around the clock. But Wednesday is met with grim news after the shelter supervisor was told they only have 24 to close the shelter despite several families not having homes to go to.

“We’re closing tomorrow so it’s taking its toll,” said Shaniqua Washington, shelter supervisor.

Washington said word came down from Red Cross headquarters that they will need to close by Thursday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. 

“They decide and see there’s so many people here and then say go ahead and close the shelter down. So it’s a process that goes from one chain of chain to another. Then comes down to us and we’re only given 24 hours to close the shelter down,” Washington said.

They were able to find hotel rooms for several families but they still have a handful who need housing. Including Dante Hall who evacuated from his apartment in Houston.

“I found out the apartment we were staying in, it was on the bottom floor so all that stuff is gone. All I have is the stuff they donated to this church. So I really don’t have anything or anywhere to go. Then they are closing down tomorrow at 3:30 and I don’t have anywhere to go,” Hall said.

He suffers with heart problems that require medicine.

“Fighting with my health but I’m still trying to go out and find jobs,” Hall said.

Washington said once they’re told to close down, there’s not a national process in place to house evacuees and it’s really left up to the local shelter supervisors to have connections in town to try and house people. 

“To our residents it seems unfair. These people need housing so if there’s anyone who can help, please, please call the shelter,” Washington said.

“It’s hurtful. It’s like a big circle of hurt because if you look at it, they want me to go back to water then I’ll just have to come back here. They want me to leave here and run back to water. It’s the same situation,” Hall said.

Hall shares the sentiment of remaining evacuees. They’re thankful for the help from the Red Cross, just angry and worried about where they will go.

They’re asking if anyone is willing to open up their home or apartment to please call the Morning Star Baptist Church. Volunteers are there working around the clock to find these people housing. 

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