Her job is to protect and serve. But Memphis Police Lieutenant Vennes Owens is doing a little more of the latter these days.
"That's what family does," she says.
She's taken in nine family members who escaped hurricane-ravaged New Orleans.
"It wasn't a thought given--doors open--they're coming," says Owens.
They include her brother Gene Young, his wife Nicole, and their two children Jasmine and Wilton. There's brother Oscar Young, his wife Michelle, ex-wife Dawn, and sons Oscar Junior and Rene'. Their homes in New Orleans were flooded and are likely destroyed. It gets tough at times to talk about. But they consider themselves lucky to have family like Lt. Owens and a lot of support from the community.
"Memphis just put their arms around us and has been showing so much love," says sister-in-law Nicole Young.
Nine year-old Jasmine's new classmates crafted a slew of hand-made greeting cards. And Rene' is singing in the choir at Whitehaven High.
"Every time I walk through the hallway people ask about my family,"says Rene'. "Everybody's so kind and helpful," he adds.
In addition to new schools, the families now attend a local church. But some of their prayers have already been answered. And Lt. Owens says she'd do it again.
"We have a houseful, but we're happy," she says.