East Texas camp takes in disabled adult evacuees after Hurricane Laura

Local News

GILMER, Texas (KETK)- A group of people from Evergreen Life Services, a home for adults with disabilities, are thankful to have been given a safe place to stay at Camp Gilmont after being forced to evacuate Lake Charles.

The group first evacuated to a hotel in Natchitoches, Louisiana but that refuge was short lived, the strong wind from the storm soon causing the building to lose power.

“When we lost power we had nowhere to go,” says Mark Bowman, Program Director of Evergreen Life services. “They invited us over and we have been here since.”

“They were saying it would be 4 to 5 days before they would get the electricity back and for our community that is going to be too much of a stretch. Do you have space for us and can we come tomorrow,” says Associate Camp Director, Marie Nelson. “And our answer was yes so we went to town and bought some groceries.”

Nelson says she didn’t hesitate to reach out when she heard the non-profit was in need of help.

“We have been a place of res-bit for evacuees years ago since Hurricane Katrina. I had this feeling that we should reach out and let them know that if they need a space particularly during this COVID-19 time when a lot of our fall groups canceled, we could be a place for them,” says Nelson.

The evacuees now feel like campers, being given the opportunity to not only have a safe place to stay but also activities to take their mind off of being away from family.

Both non-profits are raising money to cover the unexpected cost of evacuating the 80 residents. To find out how you can help donate you can click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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