Kathleen Azevedo was awakened in the night by shouts of “Fire! Fire!” from a neighbor at the residential hotel where she lived with her adult son David Gamble. He (Gamble) ran outside to investigate while Azevedo peered out the front window. “The smoke was pouring over the railing,” she recalls. They grabbed shoes, jackets and Azevedo’s cane and ran to the street.
They have spent the past week nearby in an American Red Cross shelter at the Minami Community Center in Santa Maria, Calif. The Red Cross is providing emergency shelter, food, clothing and emotional support for approximately 60 clients. Additionally, Santa Barbara County agencies are assisting in providing health and mental health services, and the Southern Baptists are cooking three meals a day for shelter residents. The Red Cross continues to work with other local and county government, non-profit and faith based partners to find long-term sustainable housing for those impacted.
Azevedo and Gamble are thankful for the help they are receiving, and they are anxious to find affordable housing. They are working closely with Red Cross Client Services. Gamble said he was surprised by the quick response of the Red Cross and its partners. “It impressed me,” he said, “We were here at the shelter within a few hours of the fire.”
You can help people affected by disasters like this residential hotel fire, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.