Montgomery Provides Special Needs Shelter

Jaynee Anderson and her son, Tyler Fordham, are among millions along the Gulf coast who had a sudden change of plans.

Anderson explains, "I'm from Washington State and I came in for a custody trial in Mobil regarding Tyler. He's living with his father in Mobil and going through some really bad things there."

The mandatory evacuation sent them north, but finding a place to rest wasn't their only challenge. Jaynee sleeps with an oxygen tank, powered by electricity. So, the American Red Cross sent them to Montgomery to a special needs shelter.

Environmentalist, Steve McDaniel, says, "It's mainly for those people who need continual monitoring for their health."

Unlike ordinary housing shelters, this one is equipped with a full-time nursing and social work staff.

Veronica Mixon, a social worker, says, "We're set up on 72 hour shifts but we could be here as long as seven days based on whatever is going on."

The special needs shelter in Montgomery can hold up to 40 people. Jaynee and Tyler were the first to come in.

Tyler says, "We were going to stay in a motel but they were all booked up and very expensive. So we went to Cracker Barrel to eat. We saw a sign pointing to the Red Cross. We called them and they recommended us to this shelter."

Despite the discomfort of not knowing what's to come, they're in good spirits and grateful to be somewhere that can ensure their well-being.

There are requirement for a special needs shelter.  They include someone who is on special medication, someone who is elderly and needs constant care, or like Jaynee Anderson, you have a breathing machine and need back up electricity.

They suggest you come with one caregiver, but only one. Unfortunately, in this situation, a family would have to split up.

If you or someone you know needs that shelter, or for answers to any other storm-related questions, you can contact the City of Montgomery's Emergency Operations Center at 334-241-2339.

Reporter: Theo Travers