Fort Worth shelters open to 1,000+ Gulf Coast evacuees

City of Fort Worth will be offering space for Harvey evacuees

On the front porch of her Fort Worth home, Julia Medford is doing her part to help people she's never even met.

"I have absolutely zero connection to Houston," she told WFAA.

But she did have an idea.

She posted on Facebook that she was going to gather donations for Gulf Coast evacuees and deliver it to the Dallas collection location at Trusted World on Thursday.

"I'm going to set out boxes on my front porch," she wrote on Facebook. "Come drop off what you want in the box." 

That simple post showed just how much Cowtown wants to help. Boxes and boxes filled her home's entryway by 6 p.m.

"Within one hour of posting, I had 200 people respond," Medford said.

The first of the evacuees were expected to arrive in Fort Worth Tuesday morning, now they are expecting them tomorrow. At the very same time, Fort Worth opened three shelters at the request of the state. The first of the evacuees were expected soon after. The city says Fort Worth ISD's Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center is one of the shelters that can house hundreds of people.

"At this point we’re prepared for up to 1,000 evacuees and we can certainly enlarge that number as we go," said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.

From the Joint Emergency Operations Center, Price, along with others including Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley, said they understand this may be a lengthy commitment, as it may take weeks or months to get people back into their homes.

"I think we’re willing to help as long as there’s a need," Price said. 

The city said it will be reimbursed through the federal government.

One hundred Fort Worth police officers are also on standby to go relieve beleaguered Houston police officers. Thirty Fort Worth firefighters are already down in the gulf.

This community's efforts to aid, big and small, show what Texas is about.

"I'm blessed more than overwhelmed," Medford said. "I’m happy to be doing this for these people."

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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