Following our team coverage of Hurricane Matthew, some of you had questions about how the city prepares the homeless community for severe weather.
News 3’s Courtney Cole spoke to Carlos Baker, the Program Director at The Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless, to get answers.
According to Baker, as soon as they find about any bad weather that could potentially pose a threat in the area, they begin to work with the Chatham Emergency Management Agency (CEMA.)
“Basically, what happens is, as we get the situation reports in from CEMA, whenever it’s inclement weather, we automatically go out to all the known street locations and make the individuals aware that they can go to a shelter program to get out of the weather. Shelters will open overflow beds to accommodate,” Baker told News 3.
When they visit each location, Homeless Authority staff hand out flyers with the contact information of their organization, along with the name and addresses of shelters that will be open and available; Baker says they did this during Hermine and Matthew.
The Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department also helps to get the world out in these situations.
“We weren’t able to reach each and every individual, but we did put forth a good effort and spread the word,” said Baker.
All of these efforts are to prevent any fatalities, but this year it was rumored that six homeless people died during the storm in the area of the ‘President Street exit’ of the Truman Parkway, which is known homeless camp site.
“That definitely is a rumor. There were no storm-related deaths as a result of Hurricane Matthew. Actually, a majority of individuals in those areas were evacuated.”
The Homeless Authority is now working closely with the American Red Cross to assist the homeless during the aftermath of the storm.
If you’d like to help, you can call the Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless: (912)-790-3400.