Hurricane evacuee shelters face deadline - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Hurricane evacuee shelters face deadline

With new Hurricane evacuees lining up every morning at the Red Cross's Midtown Memphis headquarters, some still end up at local shelters.

"There's so many people coming in," said New Orleans evacuee Lawrence Galloway. "It's kind of hard to accommodate everybody, serve everybody with the volume of people coming in but they're doing their best."

They are tasked with finding food, places to live, and jobs for more than 9,500 families who've turned to the Mid-South Red Cross, after those families' were homes flooded by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Now, President Bush wants all evacuees out of shelters by October 15th.

"I think that's a very realistic goal," said William Hildebrandt at the American Red Cross. "It's something that we've been working on over the last several weeks."

The Red Cross reports 109 evacuees are still living at the Dunn Elementary School shelter. Galloway isn't convinced the deadline can be met.

"I don't think that's a realistic goal because it's only a few weeks away," he said. "We got a lot of people in this Dunn Street shelter as I speak now, and we constantly having people coming in."

But the signs outside church run shelters like Bellevue Baptist tell a more hopeful story, saying donations are no longer needed.

"We've been very fortunate," said Rev. Scotty Shows at Belleview, "to have a lot of folks step up, offer jobs and housing. Our folks have responded well."

Now, there just a handful of evacuees where there once were hundreds. Church officials say they expect to close the shelter by Friday.

As for the Dunn Avenue Shelter, Red Cross officials said Tuesday evacuees still there after the President's deadline won't be thrown out on the street, saying help will be there as long as necessary.

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