Red Cross will Transition Cobb Shelter Thursday


Red Cross volunteer Jill Bellinson discusses recovery resources with shelter resident Victorine Donahue at the Cobb County Civic Center.

In week three of the American Red Cross flood relief operation in metro Atlanta, caseworkers at the Cobb County Civic Center shelter continue to meet with families on a case-by-case basis to evaluate their disaster-caused needs, to make referrals to government and community resources and to provide emergency assistance.

By Thursday morning, when the Red Cross transitions the property back to Cobb County government and closes its shelter operation at the Center, the goal is to ensure that every resident has a recovery plan in place.

 “We’re doing everything possible to connect people with the resources they need to take that first, big step toward recovery – securing a place to live,” says Fran O’Shaughnessy, director of the Red Cross flood relief operation in metro Atlanta. “A Red Cross shelter is a short-term haven where people get emergency care, regroup, and then move on with their lives. We’re there to provide encouragement and support at every step along the way.”

 To date, the American Red Cross has opened eight shelters in North Georgia, sheltered nearly 500 people  (2,817 overnight stays), served 42,604 meals and 55,720 snacks, and distributed 7,594 clean-up and comfort kits. The Cobb County Civic Center, site of the busiest and last remaining Red Cross shelter, had 133 residents this morning, down from more than 300 residents at its peak. Vice President Joe Biden visited the shelter on September 25 and told Red Cross workers they were “doing God’s work.”

 Shelter resident Victorine Donahue, Woodstock, agrees. She came to the shelter after the first floor of the building she lives in was flooded and became unsafe. “Red Cross volunteers try to make it possible for you to get whatever help you need – they give you a start. “

According to O’Shaughnessy, any shelter client working with a Red Cross caseworker by Thursday will continue to find help for their emergency needs once the Cobb Civic Center shelter closes. “I want to assure the community and our residents that The Red Cross is still here for them,” she said.  

Disasters Change Lives, You Can Too: Here’s How to Help

Floods are among the most costly natural disasters in terms of human hardship and economic loss. You can help those affected by the floods by making a donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund today.  Your gift will be used to provide food, clothing, shelter, emotional support, and other emergency needs. 

 Help people affected by disasters like the current floods by donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. On those rare occasions when donations exceed Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters. Your gift enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of all disasters. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org

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