Closing Shelters Leaving Hundreds Worried About Next Move

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Some Floridians have been living in cots since before Hurricane Irma made landfall.

For those whose homes were destroyed, they can fit everything they own in a suitcase.

At Miami-Dade’s last open shelter, there is many tough situations unfolding. Many look to little moments like a crepe maker dishing out free desert as the bright moment in their day. Austin Hoffman, who operates a Crepe Maker franchise, was taken back when he walked into the shelter this morning.

“I was surprised that there were so many people that still needed help like this,” said Hoffman.

In line was Angela Garcia, who actually makes crepes for a living in Key West. Luckily, her home is still standing.

“There is so much debris, I can’t even get in the front door,” Garcia said.

sdad Closing Shelters Leaving Hundreds Worried About Next Move

Come Friday more than 300 shelter roommates will have to figure out their next move. Notices have gone up that their shelter is closing on Friday. (Source: CBS4)

Come Friday though, Garcia and her 300-plus shelter roommates will have to figure out their next move. Notices have gone up that their shelter is closing on Friday.

“We don’t know where we are going. Probably, I’m going to go back to work tomorrow because, the job, I have. That much I know,” Garcia said.

The shelter closing has many people unsure. CBS4’s David Sutta saw one man loading a bag of what clothes he has into his car.

“I need somebody to help me. They told me… I don’t know,” the man told Sutta.

Ernie Martinez with the Florida Independent Living Council is worried about those with disabilities.

“The county has a crisis with their housing issues here. Where are they going to go? A homeless shelter?”

A Red Cross spokesperson replied to Martinez, saying, “That’s going to be their decision and we are going to try to help them make the right decision.”

The American Red Cross, who operates the shelter, explained the shelter was always a short-term solution.

“We want people to move forward. We don’t want them to sit and anguish in a pseudo-comfortable situation when they should be working hard to figure out what they are going to do next,” American Red Cross spokesperson Bill Fortune said.

Three shelters remain open in the Florida Keys.

Some can get vouchers for hotels from FEMA. Many here were homeless prior to the hurricane. The Homeless Trust is trying to accommodate them.

Mayron Daiere, who used to live in Kendall is hopeful.

“You hope for the best,” he said.

The shelter closure is not just a problem for Miami-Dade. The three shelters in the Florida Keys are based at schools, schools that intend to open up later this month. It’s unclear what provisions will be made for those shelter residents.

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