The center inside an old grocery story off the South Loop features cots, food, showers and medical care. The Red Cross’ Kirk Wilson says it’s like a mini-city.
“Everything is laid-out. We have them in specific areas that are identified, like neighborhoods, things like that, so when they come and they need help and they tell us what they want, we get their name, we get the area, the street that they live on and we come back and we get them and we’ve been able to get them the information they need, it is like a small city.”
Wilma Thompson’s home was damaged during Ike. She’s claimed a cot at the shelter and says she’s grateful for a place to stay.
“You have a place to sleep. You can eat. You can leave and come back in. You can socialize and things like that. Helps keep your mind occupied to keep it off things that you went through and are still going through.”
About 700 people are at the shelter right now. It’s located at 6059 South Loop East.