Red Cross to Open Jonesboro Shelter for Hurricane Refugees Today

AUGUST 31, 2005 - Posted at 12:29 p.m. CDT, updated at 4:38 p.m., updated at 7:27 a.m. on 9/1/05

JONESBORO, AR - The American Red Cross is preparing to open a temporary shelter for refugees of Hurricane Katrina who find themselves in northeast Arkansas.

Red Cross spokeswoman Diana Monroe told K8 News that the organization will open a shelter this morning at the First Baptist Church of Jonesboro, located on Main Street.  The shelter is set to open at 11 a.m.

The Red Cross is also asking for help from the public in operating the shelter.  According to Monroe, the organization needs licensed mental health professionals to counsel victims.  Any licensed mental health worker wishing to volunteer should contact Pam Knapp-Carver at 763-4481, or 932-3212.  An orientation session for volunteers is set for 10 a.m. today.

Monetary donations are also needed.  Anyone wishing to donate via cash, check or credit card may do so in person at the Red Cross's Jonesboro or Blytheville offices.  The Jonesboro center is located at 305 West Jefferson Street, while the Blytheville office is located at 30 West Walnut Street.

More information is also available by calling 1-800-HELP-NOW, or on the Web at

K8 News has also learned that the Red Cross is operating a shelter in Blytheville at the First United Methodist Church.  There is a need there for "comfort kits" and personal hygiene items.  The organization also plans to open a shelter in Osceola today.