Red Cross closing Memphis shelter as number of people in need decreases

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Throughout the storm recovery, families have been relying on American Red Cross for food and shelter.

Now, a week after the storm, Red Cross is shutting down their emergency shelter. But, the service the nonprofit provides for families doesn't stop here.

There aren't many cots left at Orange Mound Community Center, where Red Cross has provided shelter and food to storm victims for the past nine days.

"Red Cross has been a huge help to me as far as housing and food," storm victim Felecia Powell said.

But, as the number of those in need decrease at the shelter, others still seek financial help.

Robert Shephard said he lost his house to an electrical fire after lightning struck his home.

"The house has totally been destroyed from the inside and we lost everything," he explained.

Shephard said he was home alone during the storm. His wife was in the hospital after recently suffering from a stroke.

"It's not an everyday thing where you have a loved one that is so loved in a hospital and other things occur at the same time," Shephard said.

Red Cross disaster assessment crews are offering relief for residents like Shephard, who said he didn't even hear his fire alarm go off.

"It was nobody but God who woke me and I give all praises to him," Shephard said. "If it hadn't have been him, then I would've been in there roasted like the walls and everything else in there."

Organizers with Red Cross urge residents who still may need food to dial 211 for a full list of food banks in their community.

Shelters are expected to close on Tuesday at 10 a.m.

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