Red Cross Florence shelter closes doors, most now in hotels

Red Cross Florence shelter closes doors, most now in hotels

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - While many visible remnants of Hurricane Florence still dot the streets of Southeastern North Carolina, one remaining sign of the storm is coming to an end as the American Red Cross closes its Florence relief shelter in Wilmington Friday.

The shelter at Christ the King Church on North College Road closes at noon, but Cape Fear area executive director James Jarvis said all of the 39 people who were still using the shelter Thursday have a place to go.

Of those, Jarvis said, 35 were placed in hotels, either through FEMA’s temporary housing assistance program, or through payment by the Red Cross. He said they will be able to stay at the hotels for a few weeks while they look for a permanent housing solution.

“We said all along, there comes a time for everything, and today was the time for this shelter to close," Jarvis said. "We made sure that everyone who left here had at least one viable housing option before we closed the doors, because we are not, in any way, going to put anybody on the street. That’s not in accordance with our values, and so we made sure that everyone had a place to go.”

One person was placed with family and one decided to go to the Good Shepherd Center.

The remaining two people, Jarvis said, declined housing assistance but were finding their own arrangements with Red Cross financial assistance.

The shelter run by the Red Cross has been through several transitions in the weeks after the storm, including moving locations multiple times. Jarvis said finding solutions for those staying at the shelter has been a team effort.

“We have worked closely with our partners throughout this process to work one-on-one with each shelter resident or family to develop individual recovery plans and determine a viable housing solution for each resident,” Jarvis said.

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