LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - We’ve heard concerns and questions from those evacuated to hotels in the weeks since the storm, and now, a new development on getting them back to Southwest Louisiana to check on their homes.
Evacuee Felicia Jones has been staying in New Orleans at a hotel provided by the Red Cross.
“We’re here for help,” Jones said. "We didn’t ask to be in this situation - we didn’t. We have lives, we would like to go back home as well. We don’t want to be in a hotel here. For right now, we’re kind of like stuck.”
She’s one of many that received a text message from the Red Cross, saying her hotel room will come to an end on October 3. Regional Manager for Red Cross Louisiana Katy Sandusky explains it’s just to consolidate their resources.
“This process is complex, evolving, and ongoing-," Sandusky said. “We are not kicking people out of shelters. There will be some shelter consolidation, and that’s really just all about being able to effectively provide people with resources. So, we’re still committed to our mission and making sure people still have a safe place to stay.”
For those that don’t have reliable transportation, the Red Cross has a system in place to help.
“That is a program that we’re working on,” Sandusky said. "We did bus some people back there yesterday, and we are continuing to work really closely with our government partners to provide transportation.”
If they find their homes unlivable, and it wasn’t assessed as having major damages, there are options.
“We recommend a couple of options,” Sandusky said. “First, the best immediate option is if you have a local friend or family member that you can take immediate shelter in; a safe place where you can start navigating those resources. If you’ve received FEMA money, you can look at emergency lodging in some of those short-term rentals. And then, of course, if your home is reassessed in the major damage category, you can re-enter the hotel sheltering system.”
To re-enter the hotel sheltering system, you can visit the reception center at the Red Cross Alexandria Mega Shelter at 8125 HWY 171, Alexandria, La. 71302.
If you have any questions, click HERE or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.