VENICE, Fla. (WFLA) – At Venice High School, the Red Cross has taken over an emergency evacuation shelter to provide help to those in need.
The shelter opened expecting about 50 people. There are now more than 200 people inside. Many lost everything due to Hurricane Ian.
“We have been made homeless. The water came into our home,” said Heather Chadwick, whose home was destroyed by rising flood water.
Chadwick said she stood in waist-deep water inside of her home for hours, and then things got worse.
“Then the septic tank burst, so we were in sewage for 13 hours,” said Chadwick.
She eventually had to be taken to the Red Cross shelter to receive just the basics.
Renee Rolston is also in the shelter with her small child.
“It destroyed our house, our car, everything and my daughter started kindergarten, I didn’t want to get upset,” said Rolston as she began to break down in tears. “Red Cross is here doing everything they can but we have no supplies. I’ve been wearing this for a few days. I’m thankful, but we need stuff.”
The Red Cross supplies the basics for people to get by.
“Right now we are providing them shelter and three meals a day, snacks, water. We have health services on sight, 24/7” said Red Cross Shelter Manager Joyce Wilson.
This is the seventh time she has deployed for the Red Cross to help out in the wake of a hurricane.
“As time goes on, you realize you are making a difference in people’s lives, that you can touch somebody and make their life a little bit better, even if it’s for just a short time,” said Wilson.