Upstate shelters, temporary housing available for Irma evacuees


By Kirsten Glavin


GREENVILLE, SC – After seeing the aftermath of hurricane Harvey, many groups in the Upstate aren’t taking any chances with Irma.

Organizations like Redemption Church in Greenville are opening up shelters, with the hopes of aiding evacuees before the storm barrels into the coast of Florida.

“It’s an opportunity for us to really live what the Bible says to do, and that is to open our doors and do some other thing to try and help those that are in need,” said Greg Smith, Executive Director of the church.

Smith told 7News on Thursday that come Sunday, all 9 buildings on the Greenville campus will welcome evacuees. Two will likely house guests.

Redemption Church is partnering with the Red Cross to put in cots and air mattresses.

They’re also collecting donations from the community to help feed and dress the people that stay there.

“Now people from out of state, where the mandatory evacuations have already started out of Florida.. We have people saying ‘hey, can we come there, can we come there and drive up to Greenville South Carolina and get into your shelter?” said Travis Hayes, Chief Financial Officer.

They’re not the only ones offering up a bed to sleep on.

North Greenville University is opening their dorms to student’s families that need to evacuate from Irma’s path.

“Possessions and homes, all that can be replaced,” said Billy Watson, head of student life at the University. “But when they know they can be together and know their family is safe, I think it relieves a lot of stress and pressure from our students.”

As of Thursday night Watson said 10-12 families were planning to head to the school on Sunday.

“We’re very happy to have them and work with them, and shelter them through this time, also,” said Watson.

North Greenville University is also putting up ten international students from Charleston Southern, as evacuations continue.

For more information about Redemption Church’s shelter plan, including ways to donate or volunteer, click here: