Natchez shelters to close

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; The Adams County chapter of the American Red Cross plans to close all of its shelters by Friday, executive director John Goodrich announced.

New Hope Baptist Church will close today at noon, Parkway Baptist Church on Thursday and the Steckler Multipurpose Center Friday at noon.

Goodrich said there would be six mental health professionals working with clients to help analyze the different options facing them.

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&uot;We’re not going to leave anyone out in the cold,&uot; he said. &uot;The counselors will work closely with every client to help them make a decision.&uot;

Options to be discussed include transfer to shelters closer to clients’ homes, signing up for temporary housing with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and &045; for those who have not yet received financial assistance &045; directions to the newly-opened regional service centers.

The Red Cross in Louisiana is making progress towards sheltering displaced residents, Goodrich said, and it is time for local shelters to return to their normal functions.

Another option is a free one-way ticket from Amtrak. Any evacuee from Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama may receive one free one-way ticket between any two Amtrak cities. Evacuees must have an identification number from either the Red Cross or FEMA. Travel must take place before Wednesday; reservations need to be made through the local station, not the national reservation department. Reservations should be made through the Jackson Amtrak station.

The number of people in Natchez’s shelters was not available as of press time.