UT Tyler American Red Cross Shelter Closing
September 14, 2005

The UT Tyler ARC shelter in the Patriot Center will close Wednesday evening, announced Dale Lunsford, UT Tyler vice president for student affairs and external relations.

“Over 100 evacuees arrived September 3 and nearly all have been placed into new homes and jobs or with other family members,” Lunsford said. “From the first arrivals it has been our goal that each evacuee find suitable housing and the means to begin again.”

Only one individual will transfer to another Red Cross shelter.

“There are only a few evacuees here, and the shelter will probably be closed by 6 p.m. today. The gym will be cleaned tonight, so I assume by tomorrow it will look like it normally does,” said Scott Lawrence, shelter manager.

Herrington Patriot Center manager Bob Hepler said a thorough cleaning of the facility will begin this evening and will continue for several days.

“UT Tyler has been great. They have provided so much support for this shelter, which makes our job easy, and we truly appreciate it,” said Lawrence.

“Dr. Lawrence, Brian Brandt and Jay Ferguson deserve much praise for their leadership in managing shelter operations. They marshaled an army of volunteers from Grace Community Church who fed, clothed and loved the Katrina victims who came to us,” Lunsford said. “Dean Linda Klotz and faculty and students from the College of Nursing and Health Sciences also demonstrated again why they are the best program in Texas.”

“By housing the Katrina evacuees in the Patriot Center, UT Tyler demonstrated its dedication to service. We helped restore and enrich lives in a time of crisis and accepted 57 students from six university and community colleges from Louisiana,” said Lou Ann Berman, UT Tyler executive director of community relations and student success.

The primary volunteer request now is family services training, which is different from the original American Red Cross training, added Berman. The training, which is also a two and a half hour session, will train volunteers to become case workers for ongoing assistance to work individually with families or individuals for long-term assistance to transition into a permanent position.

For more information, call the local American Red Cross at 903.581.7981.


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