The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
Story and Photo Credit: Robert W. Wallace/American Red Cross
Evans, Colorado, September 25, 2013. Although now homeless due to the recent flooding, Glen Smithey, an employee of the Weld Food Bank, was present at the multi-agency Disaster Recovery Center in Evans, Colorado, to assist with food distribution for local families in need. During a lull in the activity, he sat down with Red Cross client caseworker Samantha Redmond to register for benefits for himself and obtain referrals to other agencies for disaster benefits.
“My home is now at the bottom of Lake Evans,” said former Eastwood Village resident Glenn Smithey. On September 13 Smithey and his wife Vicki made the final mortgage payment on their mobile home. Then disaster struck: that very same day, a Friday the 13th, flood waters swept through their mobile home park, destroying what had been their home for almost ten years.
Even worse, the mobile home park was located right across from the local sewage treatment plant. When the floodwaters washed over the plant, they carried the raw sewage right through the mobile home park. Smithey thinks that it will be a long time before the now sewage-inundated land will return as a safe place to live.
The Smitheys mortgage payment included a payment for home insurance, but unfortunately, they did not have a separate flood policy. As a result, their insurance company has denied them all recovery benefits.
Vicki Smithey is a manager for Harbor Freight Tools, in Fort Collins, Colorado. Her company has provided them with temporary housing at Candlewood Suites hotel. They are looking for a new home. “At this point my wife just wants a dry place,” said Smithey.
Glenn Smithey is a truck driver and warehouse worker for the Weld Food Bank in Greeley, Colorado. On this day he had brought the food bank’s mobile feeding truck along with a group volunteers to the multi-agency Disaster Recovery Center in Evans, Colorado. At times there was a long line of residents waiting for food assistance.