Church becomes evacuees' home
Members help with shelter, food, jobs
By LYDIA GRIMES – Features writer
The Community of Christ Church on Smith Lane has been a home-away-from-home for about 15 evacuees since Hurricane Katrina forced them to evacuate early last week.
While the church facility is Brewton's official Red Cross shelter, church members have gone far beyond the call of shelter duty, doing all they can to make the evacuees in their midst feel at home.
Families who are staying at the church have the luxury of having their own "rooms," as the Sunday school rooms have been turned into bedrooms for the time being.
The members of The Community of Christ Church are trying to make their visitors' stay as comfortable as possible, and in addition to seeing to their physical needs, have also included them in the church activities. They also have gotten help to get the displaced children back into a school setting so their lives can continue as normal as possible. Those who need the help of doctors are taken care of and the members of the church are more than happy to see to their needs.
There are even a couple of the evacuees who have been able to secure jobs to help their families. Morris Electric has hired them for some part-time work.
The Community of Christ Church is not alone. Other churches in the community have pitched in and are providing food for lunch and dinner. Breakfast is made by some men of the church who arrive around 6 a.m. and get things started.
Not only are the other churches helping to feed those in the shelter, other organizations in the community have pitched in with groceries and other items that are needed.
One job of the many people who man the shelter is to be there to listen to people who may have lost everything. They feel the need that the people have to tell their stories, and some of them are certainly hair-raising.
One of those staying at the YMCA has finally heard about her 81-year-old mother and knows that she is still all right, but the sister who was in the house at the time of the storm is still unaccounted for.
The one repetitive comment heard at the shelter is the gratitude the refugees have for the people of Brewton and how they have helped in this situation.
The church has extended an invitation to evacuees currently in residence at the Greater Brewton YMCA to join them for meals, as well as to evacuees who have joined friends or families here.