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Baton Rouge Couple Finds "Peace of Mind" in Red Cross Shelter

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When the lights go out each night here, we feel safe.

Tamika Chatman and her husband, Phillip Poydras, live in an area of east Baton Rouge that has never been considered a flood zone. Consequently, they were surprised – and overwhelmed – when they were forced to evacuate their home as water quickly began to rise.

“We’ve never been through anything like this before, so we didn’t know what to expect,” Chatman said.

It didn’t take long after arriving at the American Red Cross shelter in Gonzales, Louisiana, for the couple’s minds to be eased.

“With the catastrophe that has happened, the Red Cross and their volunteers have done as good of a job as they possibly could,” Chatman said. “It has been a very pleasant stay and we are comfortable and well taken care of. That’s all you can ask for, considering the circumstances.”

Chatman said her husband has hypoglycemia and must watch his diet closely, and American Red Cross nurses and volunteer check on him frequently throughout the day to see if he needs anything.

“They volunteers, the nurses, they have all gone above and beyond and have all been so kind and gracious,” she said.

It’s the spirit and positivity that Red Cross volunteers have shown that makes her hopeful about the future, she said.

“When the lights go out each night here, we feel safe,” she said.  “And we have a little peace of mind.”


Photo by Virginia Hart: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, couple Tamika Chatman and Phillip Poydras, explain how they have been positively impacted during their stay at American Red Cross shelter in Gonzales, Louisiana.