When more than 100 residents of a South Meadow Apartments building were displaced by a fire early on July 15, an American Red Cross service center and shelter was mobilized at Iowa State's Willow Hall. Red Cross chapter support officer Tony Burke said about 50 percent of the affected residents were Iowa State students.
Burke said more than 50 people took advantage of Red Cross services at Willow, including overnight accommodations, meals and casework (such as residential placement). The Salvation Army also worked to supply the victims with recovery items.
Martha Royer, program coordinator in the department of residence, said three factors made the decision to use Willow easy -- availability of air-conditioned rooms, parking access and residence staff in the Maple-Willow-Larch area.
"It just made sense," Royer said. "It took a minimal amount of work to prepare. We're glad we could help."
Not the first time
Iowa State's residence halls have served as emergency housing for disaster victims in the past. Patients from a flooded-out nursing home were moved to the Wallace-Wilson complex in 2008, and Towers space was used to assist displaced Greek house residents.