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Red Cross disaster victim shelters to consolidate

Red Cross disaster victim shelters to consolidate

June 7th, 2019 by Joe Gamm and Danisha Hogue in Local News

Sally Ince/ News Tribune Mayor Carrie Tergin visits with Red Cross volunteers Friday May 24, 2019 inside the Red Cross shelter at Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Tergin visited to several locations around the city to speaks with volunteers helping residents affected by the tornado.

Temporary shelters that have housed tornado and flood victims in Jefferson City and Eldon will be combined by early next week, according to American Red Cross officials.

Storm victims at both sites are to transition to the Russellville Baptist Church, 5209 Simpson St. in Russellville.

The Red Cross shelter at the Eldon Community Center, 309 E. Second St., which housed 18 displaced tornado victims Thursday evening, is to close about 2 p.m. Sunday.

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The shelter at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, 1201 Fairgrounds Road in Jefferson City, which housed 31 victims Thursday, is expected to transition to the same location beginning Tuesday.

"We wanted to find a place that would accommodate enough people," said Sharon Watson, chief communications officer with the American Red Cross of Missouri and Arkansas.

Eldon shelter manager David Silver said the headquarters in St. Louis notified the facility late Thursday that the shelter at the Eldon Community Center would close.

"We've had a number of people move out today, and our population is going to be down to 10 or 12 tonight," Silver said Friday.

Red Cross case workers were on site Friday identifying the needs of remaining residents. The organization has worked with local landlords to find available housing.

Those who stay at the shelter tonight will leave after a breakfast Sunday morning. Silver said he is hopeful they will all have a place to go. Some who remain have transportation, he added.

Non-perishable food and hygiene supplies have been donated to the First Christian Church of Eldon. The church, in partnership with Serve Eldon, is distributing those items at 102 S. Aurora St. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays this month.

Red Cross volunteer Tom Shands said the closing procedure consists of three operations, including several walk-throughs to access damage, cleanliness and stock of the facility. The process could take anywhere from 10-24 hours.

Shands had been on site since the shelter opened May 22. A volunteer for 45 years, he said shutting down isn't easy.

"When we start shutting down and people start leaving, it's as hard on us as it is on them," Shands said.

The Eldon Community Center will remain closed to the public for additional cleanup until 7 a.m. June 17.


This article was edited at 9:25 a.m. June 10, 2019 to reflect a change in the Jefferson City's shelter's transition date to Tuesday, June 11.