PASADENA, Texas – Tornado victims staying at a makeshift shelter in Pasadena who thought they would have to be out by Friday are now learning that’s not the case.
American Red Cross Job Director Melody Gayeski says there may have been a misunderstanding.
“They’re not kicking us out, and we’re not kicking anyone out either,” Gayeski said, adding the Revive church in Pasadena which has donated its space, will continue doing so for the time being.
“It all depends on how quickly we can address the issues our clients are facing,” Gayeski said.
On Tuesday, some storm victims panicked, thinking they’d be homeless by Friday.
“I believe we had some people that were ready to go, and they may have shared that they were going to be leaving in a couple of days,” she said. “And that got misconstrued as that meant everybody was leaving.”
“Our focus is now on the families that we have at the shelter and helping them to get ready to move on to their next recovery journey,” Gayeski added.
Pasadena resident Rashunda Gipson, who has been staying at the shelter since the Beamer Apartments were damaged, says she’s grateful.
“They really been good to us, they have been helping us every step of the way,” she said.
The Houston Housing Authority began processing more victims’ applications recently to see if some of them are eligible for housing vouchers.
The president and CEO, David A Northern, Sr., gave the following statement:
“In times of disaster, we have to come together to make sure people are taken care of. When your home is taken away from you by a storm, your life changes within minutes and it can be hard to get back on your feet alone. We’re grateful the HHA could step up and use the resources we have to help.”
It’s unclear how long it will take for the applications to process, but HHA officials say even if the victims don’t qualify for vouchers, they will be connecting those in need with available resources.
The American Red Cross says they’ll also continue to help the victims transition back to a sense of normalcy.