Transition hub for Tyler Hurricane Harvey evacuees to closed, but services still available

Schwanda Scott, 39, right, of Jasper, Texas, sits with her children and waits for assistance at the Tyler Police Department substation in Tyler, Texas, on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2017. FEMA officials were at the station to register Hurricane Harvey evacuees and offer other assistance. (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

Tyler’s transition hub closed Thursday after helping 713 Hurricane Harvey evacuees get connected to federal disaster services.

The city of Tyler activated its Emergency Operation Center (EOC) on Aug. 29. The EOC was utilized to coordinate local agencies’ relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey evacuees.

The state of Texas designated the DFW Metroplex (Dallas, Garland, Irving and Fort Worth) as the primary point for evacuation and sheltering needs, but Tyler saw an influx of many self-evacuated people.

At noon on Aug. 30, the transition hub opened at the Faulkner Park Police Station. From Aug. 30 to Sept. 7, the Hub saw 713 visitors. Evacuees were able to register for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance, including the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) Program that, if approved, covered their hotel stays for up to 30 days.

In addition, evacuees were offered the option to participate in the Emergency Tracking Network program. If they opted in, they were given a wristband that gave them access to free or discounted services in the area, including free meals at the Salvation Army, clothing needs from Cornerstone and donated basic necessities at Colonial Hills Baptist Church.  

Though the Transition Hub is no longer active in Tyler, many online resources are available to evacuees, including FEMA assistance at www.disasterassistance.gov.

The city published a webpage that centralizes information about available services for evacuees at www.cityoftyler.org/Departments/Communications/HurricaneHarveyReliefInformation.aspx.

That page will continue to be updated with relevant information for evacuees still in the area.  

The city of Tyler Transit Department is still offering free bus rides to all evacuees with wristbands. Clothes are still available at Cornerstone, 200 N. Beckham Ave., for evacuees through the end of the week.

- Jenny Wells is the Senior Public Relations Specialist for the city of Tyler.

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