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Red Cross opens emergency shelter at SHS

  • Thursday, February 13, 2014

A.M. Sheehan/Journal Scene Red Cross Volunteer Bill Ebersold sits quiety in the cafeteria at Summerville High School why one last client sleeps nearby.

The Red Cross opened an emergency shelter Wednesday night at Summerville High School. Getting the word out, however, appears to have been problematic.

Only eight people showed up to have warmth and a place to sleep with drinks, snacks and breakfast this morning.

Some of the eight were homeless folks.

At 8 a.m., only one person remained...sound asleep.

The shelter was staffed with about six volunteers when it opened, plenty of cots and blankets, a high school representative, a police officer and three or so social workers.

Two Red Cross volunteers stayed the night.

One of those volunteers, Bill Ebersold of Johns Island, sat quietly at a table this morning, working on his iPad.

“We were supposed to break this shelter down this morning,” he said, “but there’s some concern that the weather is turning worse, temerpatures dropping, so we are waiting to see.”

Ebersold said they may keeep the shelter open another night, he’s not sure.

A former nurse and Red Cross volunteer in New Jersey, Ebersold said this was his first assignment since moving to the Lowcountry.

On a personal note, he said things are different than “the old days” when they used to go through dark neighborhoods with loud speakers on the vehicles to let people know where they could find shelter. Now, he says, they seem to depend on television.

“But I am not sure we reach the people who really need us that way.”

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