Red Cross closes hurricane shelter in Collier County

Reporter: Tiffany Rizzo

The Red Cross has closed its last emergency shelter at the North Naples Regional Park.

The shelter had been operating to help families displaced by Hurricane Ian.

It housed families for six weeks until Monday when they were asked to leave. Some were provided with money for a hotel while others were provided with tents and sleeping bags.

More than a dozen families were told to go.

“The closing of emergency shelters is a sign that parts of the community are slowly beginning to recover,” said Siara Campbell, a regional communications director for the South Florida region of the American Red Cross. “Residents are making plans for their next steps by either returning home or moving into more comfortable and longer-term housing solutions. Emergency shelters aren’t typically intended to stay open for long periods of time. That’s why organizations involved in relief efforts are striving to help people whose homes are unlivable.”

So what’s next for the families staying there that don’t have anywhere else to go?

It’s a scary reality for the Sosa family, who lost their East Naples mobile home in the hurricane.

They have three young children and don’t know what to do now.

The Red Cross closed its last shelter in Collier County. (CREDIT: WINK News)

“I think we deserve better as the families or the families over here they’ve been hoping to find help,” said Yovany and Heather Regueira Sosa.

They will go to a hotel for two weeks but don’t know what they will do after that.

“I think there’s got to be some resource. There’ll be something out there. Somebody’s got to have an answer for these families, including my family,” said Yovany and Heather Regueira Sosa.

The Red Cross would not provide any specifics when questioned on Monday.

Instead, the statement said shelters are not intended to stay open for long periods.

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