City opens doors to tent shelter


Last updated 9/26/2017 at Noon

Orange County Judge Stephen Brint Carlton, left, and Orange Mayor Jimmy Sims visit with reporters during a Monday morning tour of the new tent shelter at the Orange boat ramp.

A total of 39 Orange County residents took shelter in the air-conditioned shelter opened Monday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through one of its top shelter contractors, BCFS.

The transitional shelter, located at the city of Orange boat ramp, can hold up to 250 people, said Kevin Dinnin, CEO of the faith-based San Antonio non-profit that began in 1944 as Baptist Children and Family Services, a home for orphaned children.

Forty-six residents were bused in from Red Cross shelters around the state after having been forced out of their homes a month ago by historic flooding caused by Tropical Storm Harvey.

Ten of those residents were picked up by family or friends. Three others walked into the shelter, seeking a place to stay temporarily.

According to a press release by Orange County Emergency Management, there are a number of other displaced citizens who chose not to return to Orange at this time.

BCFS will manage the shelter operation that provides showers, toilets, laundry, meals, security, medical and management teams.

At the shelter site, these returning residents will be offered counseling and assistance to locate permanent housing.

BCFS is operating a similar tent shelter in Port Arthur.

According to a 2014 Time Magazine article, the company has earned hundreds of millions of dollars from the U.S. Government in the past decade for its sheltering services.


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