Evacuees find comfort in familiar surroundings

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Eddie Perkins is back in Memphis, but it's no ordinary visit.

Perkins found shelter at Cummings Street Missionary Baptist Church when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005. Three years later, he's experiencing a reunion of sorts.

He's back at Cummings after fleeing Hurricane Gustav, but this time, he says, is a little different.

"When we came down here the first time, it was like chaos," said Perkins. "We didn't know where to go."

Perkins said he found some comfort knowing a place of refuge existed.

"This is a continuation of what we started with Hurricane Katrina," Pastor Gary Faulkner of Cummings Street M.B. Church said.

Faulkner says the first storm helped them to develop a system.

"We're trying to make everyone as comfortable as possible. So, of course we're providing humble dwelling places," he said.

The church has nurses and counselors in place, and they're even providing free haircuts.

Volunteers are helping in every corner of the church. And they are prepared to enroll children in school.

Perkins says if he didn't have a home and business back in New Orleans, Memphis would be his home because he loves it here.

There's a desperate need for volunteers, not only in churches but also at Red Cross Shelters.

Click here to visit the Web site of the American Red Cross Mid-South Chapter to learn how you can help evacuees.

Click here to e-mail Kontji Anthony.