Evacuees storm Red Cross

Published 2:36 pm Wednesday, September 14, 2005

By By Janet Little Cooper
Hundreds of Katrina evacuees continue to pour into the parking lot and streets surrounding the Red Cross office located in the Advance.
People from as far away as New Orleans are in town seeking assistance from the West Escambia Chapter of Red Cross.
The Red Cross is assisting people in the aftermath of Katrina who have lost everything by providing them with cash vouchers. The number of people in a family determines the amount of the voucher. Eligible candidates for the immediate cash assistance must provide proper identification and proof of residency along with their zip code.
"We can only assist people from certain areas that have been declared as a disaster" Dot Killiam, West Escambia Chapter Executive Director, said. West Escambia is a service center under the direction of the Mobile Red Cross.
"We will be here as long as national tells us to and there are no more vouchers available" Charlotte Boyle, local Red Cross chairman said.
The vouchers, funded by donations made to the Red Cross may be used to meet any of the evacuee's immediate needs.
Mobile and Loxley were also issuing cash vouchers to storm victims. New Orleans native, Shirley Barnes came to Atmore for help after waiting in line for hours at both locations. " We got a phone call from someone telling us that Atmore Service Center was also giving the vouchers," Barnes said, " We were also told that it was more organized and running smoother in Atmore." Evacuees who had been waiting in line since early morning had nothing but good things to say about the Atmore Red Cross personnel.
"We have been talked to as if we are not even human at other locations," Barnes added, " Mrs. Boyle was very kind to us this morning when she got here." Atmore Mayor Howard Shell was pleased with the peaceful progression of people seeking help and was fully supportive of the relief efforts from the Red Cross. The City of Atmore provided police officers to assist the Red Cross as the mass of people converged on its office. According to Boyle, over 400 people signed up for assistance in Atmore on Tuesday.

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