Jefferson City and Eldon shelters to combine at new location
JEFFERSON CITY – Shelters for families displaced by a recent tornado in Jefferson City and Eldon are merging into one location in Russellville Tuesday morning.
Jefferson City shelter manager Paul Klink said merging locations will make resources more accessible for families.
“Our resources were spreading so thin and so far, it makes more sense to centralize everybody and bring all the resources to one spot,” he said.
The Red Cross chose Russellville as the new location since it is halfway between Jefferson City and Eldon.
Klink said families have reacted positively to moving shelters, so far.
“A little distraction about something positive and moving forward can be a good thing,” he said.
Louis Richmond has been staying at the shelter after losing his home in the tornado.
"When I opened the front door to go to the stairway I could see the sky," Richmond said. "When I went up the stairs everything up there was gone."
Klink said the clients are seeing this move as a big step forward.
“We are all familiar with doing it and comforting the clients as we do it,” Klink said. “We are very, very, very careful about how we handle the clients and their items to make sure they feel honored and respected.”
Klink said the American Red Cross is working to provide shuttles from the new location.
“People with appointments in the city were curious about how they are going to be transported, but that’s part of our plan,” he said.
Klink lives in Hawaii. The Red Cross placed him in mid-Missouri to oversee the relief effort.
He said he's seen firsthand how compassionate and giving the people of Missouri are.
“You guys have your own version of "aloha," people go way out of their way even when I’m not wearing my vest in public just to say hi,” he said.
Klink said his workers are doing their best to balance logistic practicality and client convenience.