Carthage Red Cross shelter to close

Carthage Red Cross shelter to close
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The Red Cross shelter set up inside Carthage’s Fairview Christian Church will close Saturday night after being open a week following flooding.

“But beyond this, it does not end. There are supports out there, we assure them with temporary housing, but beyond that, the Red Cross role and the community role does not stop until they’re back in their homes,” Red Cross clinical supervisor Joan Brown said.

That temporary housing will come in the form of motel rooms until the dozen family homes are habitable again. Since last Sunday, adults and teens staying at the shelter have been leaving during the day to go clean up each others homes from water damage.

“We come here for lunch then we go back to cleaning houses. We just sleep and eat here and we clean to keep us busy. It helps each other out because we help through tough times so we just be one family,” Beider Reyes said. Reyes has stayed in the shelter since his family was evacuated.

With their week of togetherness, the Red Cross volunteers and the families staying the night have become very close, despite not sharing a common language.

“When we’re here so long, they become part of our family, they’re an extension of our family. So that’s how we treat them,” shelter manager Karen McCoy said.

The families have leaned heavily on one another during this time of need.

“With the Spanish community, its important to them, because everyone helps each other; and they know all the people and family that help each other,” volunteer and translator Cesar Valle said.

Volunteers from Newton County came up to assist Jasper County crews.

“We’re a team. And it’s not your county or my county, you know, we just work together wherever we’re needed,” volunteer Iris Elliott said.