Long-term shelters set up here
By By MARY-ALLISON LANCASTER — Managing editor
Local agencies and churches in Brewton are banding together and setting up shop in an effort to help the citizens along Alabama's Gulf Coast and in neighboring states affected by Hurricane Katrina find a temporary place they can call home.
Local EMA director David Jennings said that areas in Brewton are already housing evacuees as they come into town.
As of Thursday, Jennings said, there were 16 people being housed at the church and 25 were at the Brewton YMCA. The EMA office has been told to expect from 100 to 300 additional refugees.
Local YMCA CEO Dan Shaddux lived in New Orleans for three years, serving as CEO of the YMCA there.
Shaddux said he referred New Orleans one of three unique American cities. He counts San Francisco and New York City as the other two.
A list of locally organized efforts appears in the briefs box on Page 1 of today's paper.
Several churches have also joined together and have been collecting toiletries, nonperishable supplies and other items that may be needed in the area for the evacuees.
Drop off sites include St. Stephens, St. Maurice Catholic, First Methodist and First Presbyterian Churches have been collecting nonperishable items, as well as the local American Red Cross, who is constantly accepting donations, Jennings said.
Jennings said he sat in the YMCA parking lot this week for about 40 minutes talking with evacuees.
This week, the mayor of New Orleans issued a mandatory total evacuation of the city, which is quickly getting lost under rising waters. Residents are fleeing from other areas in Louisiana and Mississippi, hoping to find comfort and a warm meal in a strange town.
Jennings said that as the week progresses he expects more evacuees to make Brewton and other areas in the county their temporary home.