Wednesday, September 21, 2005

At Least Someone is Dealing with These Lazy Bums, or: Red Cross, Pay Up Or Get Out!

Hooray for the compassionate people of the world. Long story short, the folks in charge in DeKalb County, Georgia, are outraged! And why not? How dare the Red Cross offer free shelter and food to hurricane victims! Here's the key quote...

“Some of what has been verbally requested of us were some financial incumberances that we considered would be an inappropriate use of a donated dollar,” (Red Cross Guy) Reynolds said during a new conference called by the Red Cross Monday afternoon in response to Jones.

Basically, what it boils down to is that the county wants that sweet sweet relief money that's pouring in. Why allow the Red Cross to hand it out when you can skim your own money off the top? So now the Red Cross has left the building and the refugees are being helped by county management people. So far all the news has had in the way of information was pretty much just an interview of the County CEO talking about how disorganized the Red Cross was and how everything is running smoothly now. Most of his assessment seemed to be over the fact that the Red Cross's debit cards weren't working, but the county is now handing out FEMA checks. Gee.

Here's the whole story...

Red Cross Kicked Out of DeKalb

Reported By: Valerie Hoff
Web Editor: Tracey Christensen
Last Modified: 9/20/2005 2:42:40 PM

Officials with the American Red Cross decided to vacate a mega relief center in DeKalb County at 5 p.m. Monday after the county CEO complained publicly about the agency's services or lack thereof.

CEO Vernon Jones gave the media a letter he sent to the Red Cross this past weekend, calling their workers disorganized and services inadequate. He asked Red Cross officials to either meet with him to resolve his issues or leave.

"Your presence as it is now is hindering our efforts to help the same people. It is in our best interest to conduct our operations separately from now on," the letter stated.

At least one evacuee at the mega relief center said she echoed Jones’ statements.

“It’s disorganized, very disorganized because I’ve been getting the run around around since day one,” said evacuee Pamela Wilson

Jones told 11Alive, “When you tell 600 people who come in for checks and you know that you are only going to show up with 400 checks, then you have 200 people who are upset because they didn’t get their checks.

“Just the whole process, as they received people there was no organization, no management,” the CEO said.

Later Monday, Jones said he would be open to the Red Cross staying in DeKalb, while still demanding the agency do a better job. Officials with the American Red Cross declined to meet Jones and decided to wrap its operations in DeKalb.

Red Cross spokesman Bill Reynolds said DeKalb County’s administration also asked for a financial contribution for allowing the Red Cross to operate out of the county facility.

“Some of what has been verbally requested of us were some financial incumberances that we considered would be an inappropriate use of a donated dollar,” Reynolds said during a news conference called by the Red Cross Monday afternoon in response to Jones.

In place of physically meeting Jones, Red Cross officials called Jones and, within the five-minute conversation, made known they would vacate the premises. The agency will continue its operations at mega relief centers located in Cobb and Gwinnett counties.

"If they'd rather further inconvenience people as opposed to address their management issues here, that's a decision they have to make," Jones said.

Specifically, Jones said that some of the debit cards received by evacuees were not working at area stores because they were never activated.

Metro Atlanta Red Cross officials said they stood by their work at the mega center, adding that they have provided thousands of meals, assistance and housing to victims of Hurricane Katrina.

During the news conference Monday, Reynolds pointed out how the agency had served tens of thousands evacuees in Georgia and decried Jones’ seeming grandstanding.

"It is not helpful to the process of assisting the survivors of Hurricane Katrina for anyone to attempt to make any political statements about the situation," a Red Cross official told 11Alive's Jon Shirek on Sunday. "The Red Cross' only and continuing attempt is to give immediate aid to the hurricane victims, and to help them make their lives better."

The official called it "unfortunate" that CEO Jones released his letter to the media.

The DeKalb County center is one of the largest government relief centers in the Southeast. It opened one week ago inside a 160,000-square foot facility at 1 Lithonia Way in DeKalb County. The center was set up to provide one-stop shopping six days a week from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. until December 15.

Posted by crimnos @ 8:53 PM

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Yep, yep. Nothing to see here!! Move along folks.

Posted by Blogger james @ 8:18 PM #
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