Evacuees Exiting Shelters

Since Hurricane Katrina hit six weeks ago, local Red Cross officials say they have served more than 6,000 families. Of that number, Cheri Barry, who is the director of the local Red Cross, says none of those who were displaced are still in shelters.

"We placed over 165 families locally into our community with the help of Love City Fellowship Church. They were partners with us and they placed over 80 families alone," says Barry.

Meanwhile, Barry says there are still hundreds and maybe even thousands of evacuees in the area.

"You've got to remember that we cover a seven county area, so a lot of evacuees are still living with relatives and friends. They're everywhere!"

That includes in hotels. According to Barry, hundreds of evacuees are still in local hotels. However, for those whose rooms are being paid for by the Red Cross she says that could soon end.

"Initially we could help these families with 30 days of placement and we're trying to wind that program down. Hopefully, FEMA's going to eventually be a partner in that. No one is being turned away though."

However, in the wake of the storm , helping everyone is coming with a hefty price tag for the local Red Cross. So far, Barry says her office has spent more than $6,000,000 in emergency assistance checks for disaster victims. She says this doesn't count the millions that the local office spent in providing food to victims in the seven counties the office served right after the storm. With this, she says donations are still needed.

Anyone interested in donating to the Red Cross can do so by calling (601) 485-5151.


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