West Alabama Relief Efforts

According to Red Cross officials, at its peak the shelter at the University of West Alabama in Livingston housed up to at least 200 people, or in other words, 80 families. Of that 80, shelter officials say most plan to stay in the area.

"We've only had maybe one or two families out of all the families we've had say that they're going to go back. Everybody else says they want to move to this area," says shelter manager Shannon Dockery.

Along with moving has come concerns about finding jobs, something which Red Cross officials say so far they've been somewhat successful in doing.

"We had a lady who got hired as a hair dresser," says Dockery. "We have a guy that put in an application as a police officer. We have sanitation jobs available."

"Through one federal program, several of them will be employed by the city on a part-time basis to help with clean up efforts," says Livingston Mayor Tom Tartt.

While city officials in Livingston welcome the new residents, they say one concern is housing, an issue which they are now working to address.

"It's pretty much a shortage of housing anyway with the university and industries that we have here," says Tartt. "Hope that we'd be seeing something relatively soon or at least a plan in place. We'll be working with the FEMA people and our state government I guess once we get a good handle on exactly how many do want to locate here and can find employment here. Then, we'll address their short-term and long-term housing needs and try to address 'them."


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