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Hurricane survivors running out of options as shelters begin to close

Posted at 11:13 PM, Nov 13, 2022

COLLIER CO., Fla. — A few survivors of Hurricane Ian have nowhere to go as shelters begin closing.

The American Red Cross shelter at North Collier Regional Park in Naples is one of those closing tomorrow at noon. Those still at the shelter feeling discouraged and let down.

Collier County’s one and only shelter will be closed after tomorrow and it has some demanding answers.

"We need to do something for these families. Somebody’s got to come and help.”

A desperate plea from Hurricane Ian’s most vulnerable survivors. Those that have sought refuge at public shelters.

“We are the last ones," said Yovany Regueira, staying at Collier shelter with family. "Everybody else is just done and already gone. Everybody is just running for life, running to see if they can find a hotel- to see if they can book a hotel.”

Yovany Regueira is one of the last few to be staying at the North Collier Regional Park shelter, set up by the American Red Cross. He and his family having been staying at the shelter for a month. But that ends tomorrow.

"One week ago they said they weren’t closing. After that week, they said we are not closing because there is another hurricane coming. Now the hurricane came and out of nowhere they said okay, on Monday this is closing.”

A troubling turn of events for those whose lives have already been turned upside down. Other shelters have opened in neighboring counties, that is to say if you can even get in.

"They sent me to Fort Myers but Fort Myers and Lee County they are only taking Lee County residents," said Regueira. "So whoever lives in Naples- they’re not taking them.”

On the American Red Cross website, they list 8 shelters open in the region. In Lee County, the Del Tura shelter is housing close to 400 people but no word on when they’re closing.

Fortunately for Yovany, he has a hotel booked to stay in with his family. But, as he says, not everyone is so lucky.

"A lot of people are suffering and are hurt. It’s families that are wondering, thinking what’s going to happen with us? Everybody’s hurt.”

We have reached out to the American Red Cross, as well as Collier County about shelter options for those residents. But we have not yet heard back.