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Houston: Over 1,000 Turned Away by Red Cross

By staff

Disappointed people at empty tent canopy.

Houston, TX – Requests for American Red Cross assistance surged beyond its capacity to deliver Sunday afternoon at the new St. Agnes Baptist Church for the second day in a row. The make-shift Red Cross center was opened Saturday in the heart of Houston’s African American community, eight miles away from the Astrodome and nearly an hour’s bus ride from downtown. As a red, black, and green Black Liberation flag waved overhead, aid volunteers passed out water and registration forms to those waiting outside.

Hurricane evacuees began lining up at 2:30 a.m. this morning. At its height, the line stretched for a mile through the church’s large parking lot into the street and down the block to Carter G. Woodson Middle School. The center processed approximately 3,000 people today. Aid checks were worth $1,500. In order to receive the monies, applicants were required to show valid identification from an evacuated region that matched their residence address and/or copies of utility bills, leases or other documentation.

Today’s Houston Chronicle headline referred to the red tape that evacuees have had to wade through for basic aid. For those who arrived too late, another day standing in line awaits them. Doors open 9:00 a.m., but volunteers are telling people to get there hours earlier.

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