AUSTIN -- Friday afternoon, Red Cross Central Texas announced they were closing the shelter for flood victims at Dove Springs Recreation Center.
“As the shelter population decreased over the past week, the Red Cross worked closely with its partners, including city agencies and non-government organizations, to transition families to alternate housing so they can begin the recovery process,” the Red Cross said in a statement Friday.
As part of that transition, four families remained at the shelter in need of a place to sleep, including Crystal Ybarra and her two children.
“After they closed that down I was like ‘OK, I have nowhere else to go,’” Ybarra said, while holding her two-month old daughter.
Due to F1 and a UT football game this weekend, hotels in the Austin area are packed, and many rates have doubled or tripled.
However, on Friday the La Quinta in South Austin called the city, Red Cross and the Austin Disaster Relief Network to let them know they could take in the four remaining families at a reduced cost.
“This hotel could absolutely charge way more and get away with it. We've heard of hotel rates being up to $400 to $500 a night and these guys, what they're offering, is so much less than that,” said Stephen Brewer with the Austin Disaster Relief Network.
ADRN is made up of a network of around 120 churches in the Austin area.
“They've been wonderful. They've been helping us out tremendously, like with diapers. I have diapers out the wazoo,” Brewer said
What Ybarra said she needs now is a permanent place to live.
“I’m hoping to get into some kind of apartment or something,” she said.
More immediately, she said her family also needs something to eat.
“I don't even have money for food to feed them,” Ybarra told KVUE.
But she said thanks to the hotel and the Austin Disaster Relief Network, she knows that for the next few days, they'll have a warm place to sleep.
As for what the future holds? Ybarra said, “I know I have to be strong for my kids, and that's all I think of, is my children."
If you would like to drop off warm meals or baby supplies to Ybarra and her children, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
If you would like to donate to victims of the Halloween flood, go here.