Today was BUSY at the center. People were bringing us their things and we were trying to keep up with the latest news. We had to convince some folks that even though the shelters won’t take couples, they absolutely cannot stay in a tent in the woods during this time. I got cussed out over the phone for not being able to provide hotel rooms for folks- it was a lot.
We gave a way SO MANY SOCKS today. Last night was sort of a taste of what is to come. Blu’s phone was ringing off the hook because people thought that the hurricane had already started, but it was just a typical thunderstorm. It may have worked to our advantage, because it definitely lit a fire under some butts. Folks got their meds refilled, just in case. People gave us important papers to keep. We have bags of belongings, labeled and placed on top of tables to keep them dry. We’re definitely doing the best we can here to provide support for everyone.
I had a couple of texts today asking if people could sleep overnight at the center. We’re pretty sure that it is going to flood because it’s a basement, so I think that’s a bad idea right now. It floods in parts when it simply rains, much less during a hurricane. We’re taking precautions by making sure nothing is on the floor and all of the electrical equipment (computers, modems, appliances), are up on a surface and nowhere that they can get wet.
We bought a ticket today for someone who has a friend in Gastonia who is willing to not only let her stay there, but give her a place to stay for an extended period of time. I feel really good about that because not only will she not be sleeping outside, but she will be with friends who care that she was sleeping outside- I can’t say that about all of our folks for sure. They grew up in the same group home together, and have been looking for one another. She got a phone and they found each other this week- this is why Facebook is an amazing tool. He had no idea that she was living outside, and she had no idea that he was searching for his foster sister. He just bought a house, and has extended an invitation to her to join his family. I hope that it works out, for both of them.
Not everyone is so lucky, however, I found out today that a lot of people saw the video that I made yesterday, so that gives me hope that we can keep everyone alive. We had a lot of new faces today, and I got to speak to a LOT of new folks about what their plans were for the next few days. It was HECTIC, and we’re going to need some help in the near future, but it’s worth it. It really is. If you spend one day with us, you’ll see it too, the joy of a clean pair of socks, a new tent, a hot meal, a clean t-shirt, a bar of soap, connecting with an old friend, all of it.