Living Life in a Shelter, Sacajawea Displaced Residents Face Many Obstacles
PASCO, Wash. - It has been a week and a half since the fire that displaced everyone that lived in the Sacajawea Apartments in Pasco. Many of the residents still do not have any place to go. They have been through a lot and it does not seem to end.
"I didn't know all these people had but yesterday ten cops arrived and they came in and escorted some people out that already have a place to stay now," said Andrew Western, a displaced resident.
He is talking about jail. Some of the people from the Sacajawea Apartments staying at the Red Cross shelter had warrants out for their arrest. And on top of losing their homes and sleeping next to alleged criminals, the people at the shelter thought they might have another fire on their hands when an air conditioner behind the high school gym began to smoke one night.
"We had to evacuate. The poor people, emotionally I mean take them out of the showers, get them out and do what you do when a fire alarm goes off," said Jill Becker with the American Red Cross.
Luckily it was just faulty wiring an no damage was done. However one week earlier, a pregnant woman staying at the shelter thought she was giving birth prematurely.
"We did send her to the hospital, but it was false, false labor. She's been back," Becker said.
It seems as though their struggles are endless, but throughout the entire ordeal the Red Cross has been there supported by the local Southern Baptists.
"The Red Cross is awesome, they've got the funds to pay for the food, they just don't always have the bodies to prepare it, so that's our deal. We fix it, you feed," said Southern Baptist Kitchen Supervisor, Lorie Swearingen.
While the Sacajawea Apartment disaster relief only has to feed up to about 50 people a day, the Southern Baptists are prepared. Their mobile kitchen unit can feed up to 10 thousand people a day.
"You see on the news that all these people are displaced out of this apartment house and you think what can I do? Well I get to be someone that's cooking for them. And it's something you can do that really makes a difference and really helps those people," Swearingen said.
While the people staying at the shelter been through so much, they say it is good to know these charities have their backs. The Southern Baptists tell NBC Right Now the mobile kitchens are at the ready to go if some of the recent wildfires in our region require a mass disaster relief.