Some Relief Operations Ending, Others Will Remain in Fremont

FREMONT – Some agencies have ended, or are wrapping up, flood relief efforts in the Fremont area this week, as needs change from immediate housing and crisis response to long term recovery solutions.

The Red Cross emergency shelter in the Fremont Mall officially ended operations yesterday, transitioning the last dozen people in need of housing to other options. “We are thrilled that we no longer have a shelter population,” said Kevin Mazuzan, Elected Official Liason for the Red Cross. “All of our folks that sought refuge at our shelters have moved on. We have assisted them by proving them essentially a road to recovery.” That road has taken many forms for those who were sheltered temporarily at the Red Cross location in the former site of JC Penney’s in Fremont. “Some have been able to return home, some have gone to temporary rental homes, and things like that,” said Mazuzan.

Many former shelter residents have transitioned to living with family, and about a dozen are still taking temporary residence in motels in the area.

Despite the fact that the Red Cross shelter is no longer needed, the organization will continue to perform relief work in Fremont. The Red Cross will continue to provide financial assistance through various programs, and they will also continue to offer their Disaster Mental Health counseling support for those victims who are still dealing with the aftermath of the flood, both physically and emotionally.

Operation Blessing will also be ending their work in Fremont this weekend, and returning to Virginia Beach, VA, after assisting dozens of home owners with the muck out and cleaning of their homes after the flood. “We’ve been here almost a month now,” said Andrew Mazzella, Operation Blessing coordinator. “We thank the two churches who helped us get started here: the Church of the Nazarene, which was our base of operations, and some of our [out of state] volunteers needed a place to stay overnight, and they were at the Good Shepard Lutheran Church in town.”

Operation Blessing filled over 100 work orders for local residents over the last few weeks, including several days spent exclusively in Winslow, where the flooding was extensive and damage was more extreme. Mazzella said that the organization and volunteers were “blessed” by many throughout their time here. “We come in to try to help people, and bless them, but in turn we are often blessed, in many different ways.”

Operation Blessing will return to their home base in Virginia tomorrow: Saturday, April 13th.

Samaritan’s Purse, hosted by the Fremont Alliance Church, will remain in the area through April 27th to assist residents with ongoing muck-out and debris removal needs. Crisis CleanUp will also continue to operate their clean up hotline for our area through April 19th – to request clean up or debris removal assistance, call 1-833-556-2476.

The City Auditorium will continue to be open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays to provide supplies to anyone who needs them. There is no “visit limit” on the supplies at the City Auditorium, and anyone in the area with a need is invited to pick up supplies. Volunteers are needed at the Auditorium on Saturday (4/13)- 9am-5pm, Monday (4/15)- 9am-5pm and Wednesday (4/17)- 4pm-7pm. Tasks can include: helping shoppers, sorting and organizing items, unloading donations, and greeting. To volunteer, please call 402-253-0448 to sign up.

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