BEAUMONT, Texas — All across Southeast Texas, the Red Cross is setting up recovery centers to help flood victims get back on their feet after Imelda. People lined up all the way to the street at Faith United Methodist Church off of Highway 365 hoping to qualify for financial assistance.
Those who meet a long list of criteria are getting credit cards to help take care of immediate needs like food and clothing. Bonnie Robert Will handles public affairs for the Red Cross. She said you'll need a valid photo ID and proof of address, like an electric or water bill, in order to speak to a case worker.
"They'll look up their address to see if it has been assessed by our damage assessment teams, and if it hasn't they will send somebody out," Will explained.
They had so many people stop by today, Will said they let the second half of the line give their name and phone number to give them a call later. Some chose to stay, but Will suggests coming by Thursday if you haven't yet been seen.
According to the American Red Cross Gulf Coast Facebook page, the following recovery centers will be set up this week:
Thursday, October 10
Jefferson County: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. | Faith United Methodist Church,18895 FM 365, Beaumont, TX
Friday, October 11
Jefferson County: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. | Jefferson County Precinct 4 Service Center, 7780 Boyt Road, Beaumont, TX
Saturday, October 12
Jefferson County: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Beaumont Civic Center (*MARC), 701 Main Street, Beaumont, TX
The location at the Civic Center Saturday will be a multi-agency recovery center. They'll have resources for clean-up assistance, rebuilding help, mental health services and supply resources.
They also have teams out in the field in neighborhoods that were significantly damaged going door-to-door. They've been working for more than two weeks now.
"As of yesterday we have done damage assessment to over 10,500 homes, and we have actually handled case work for over 3,500 people," Will said.
It's been quite the process for the Red Cross volunteers and those seeking assistance, but Will said everyone has been kind. Reginald Cooper stopped by Tuesday hoping to qualify after losing everything in his apartment off of Wyatt Street in Beaumont.
"But I'm still moving, it's love, I thank God for the love...I got this new shirt, I've been wearing the same shirt," Wyatt explained.
He's grateful for places like the Red Cross that have offered to help. Wyatt feels we need more places like it.
"I'm sweating, I'm losing weight in line, thank God, but I'm ready, whatever they can do for me I'm ready," Wyatt said.
Right now, what he needs is a place to stay. Wyatt is a singer, hoping for his big break, but until then he's had to rely on help from others.
"I've been sometimes sleeping in my truck, I just don't want to get on anybody's nerves," he said.
Still, he looks on the bright side. He didn't have flood insurance, but he's thanking God and the people who have stepped in to help since Imelda.