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My dad decided he'd rather have me do his errands today, so I was able to volunteer yesterday for snowdrifted. It was tres dull, however, and I have little of interest to report. They had been planning to have all the evacuees out of the Reliant Park shelters by Friday or Saturday, so they started to close down and pack up some of their operations there. The shoppers handed out their last clothes around noon and we spent the day boxing up and labeling everything in the warehouse for transport to other shelters around town. Whew, talk about hot, sweaty, dusty work. And I didn't even get to see the wedding.

Now, however, it looks like they've extended their weekend closing goal, which I'm kind of relieved about. It's great that the city and state are working so hard to find housing for people (with little to no help from FEMA or the federal government, who are still farting around trying to figure out what to do, thankyouverymuch), but I know some people are still waiting for their housing assignments to come in and I didn't want to think the city was going to be pressuring them to leave the shelter before they've got an acceptable place to go.

Today the volunteers are supposed to be consolidating everyone in the Astrodome and Reliant Center into the Astro Arena, and I have to admit I'm kinda glad I'm not gonna be able to go in for that. My legs are still protesting from all the bending over yesterday.

One nice thing I've noticed is that the mood at the shelter has changed a lot since last week. It used to be that the PA system was a constant litany of the names of the missing, as people desperately searched the various shelters in hopes of finding their loved ones. Every once in a while, there would be a joyous reunion in front of the message center and everyone would stop and cheer.

Early this week, though, the announcements had changed to things like, "Anyone interested in relocating to Nashville come to the message center," or "A representative from X is here with information about available jobs."

Yesterday the PA messages were all stuff like, "John Smith, your family is here to take you home," or "Paul Washington, you have a call from your sister in Dallas." It was nice to hear announcements about people reuniting with their friends and family and moving out of the shelters. Between that and all the packing up, it's taken on sort of an end-of-the-school-year feel.

Comments

snowdrifted
Sep. 15th, 2005 02:16 pm (UTC)
*glomps* You really do rock!

It's wonderful to hear all your reports of what's going on and how it is on the front lines, and to hear signs of progress in the aftermath. :)

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