Volunteers Remember Helping Evacuees At Tyler Apartment Complex - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Volunteers Remember Helping Evacuees At Tyler Apartment Complex

When Hurricane Katrina swept the Gulf Coast, it didn't take long for East Texans to start pouring out help. A new apartment complex opened its doors to evacuee families, and members of the community volunteered their time to get the families what they needed.  

Knowing they could not go home, more than 70 Hurricane Katrina evacuee families moved into Southwest Pines Apartments in Tyler.  They had found shelter, but what the families didn't have was food, clothing and furniture.  Kimberly Fuller and other volunteers changed that by putting out a call for donations and filling every apartment.

"It definitely humbled me a lot," said Fuller. "It made me appreciate the smaller things that I have from day to day and realize that everything can disappear in the flash of an eye." LaShonda Enclade and her four children are just one family touched by the generosity of East Texas.

"People who knew what happened were just pouring their hearts out," said LaShonda Enclade, Katrina evacuee. "If it was coming from out of their household, or if it was a simple do you need to go anywhere." A year later, Enclade still cannot go home to New Orleans. Her house flooded after the storm, forcing her be away from the rest of her family, but the help she's gotten in Tyler she says has motivated her to move on.

"I wouldn't say I was damaged by it," said Enclade. "Traumatized not damaged. I have gotten over it. What has happened has happened. I can't change that. No one can." People like Fuller, Enclade says has made being away from home a little easier.    

Fuller says many of the families that moved into Southwest Pines Apartments have gone back to New Orleans. Enclade says her and her family hope to move back next year.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com


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