Wednesday, September 14, 2005

STL Helps

STL Helps

In case you haven't seen it yet, Sue Beckwith and others around town have set up STL Helps, a blog "featuring news and links to activities in St. Louis, Missouri, that are meant to help the survivors of Hurricane Katrina." They have some useful critiques of the efforts as they have transpired.

As Channel 5 reports, many evacuees here are frustrated by their inability to access needed help.

Even though the "Welcome Center" (AKA the Boeing hangar at Lambert) is shutting down and the "Regional Assistance Center" (AKA the St. Louis County Adult Correctional Institute in Chesterfield) has very few people - at least as of yesterday - there are still thousands of people here staying with family, friends, and host families.

Meanwhile, Washington University - criticized for its enrolling evacuee students as visiting rather than full-time - has an extensive web site for information on student and community efforts to help.

One bone to pick I have is that, according to St. Louis County's web site, offers of employment to evacuees are supposed to go through the Salvation Army St. Louis.

This makes no sense to me! Aside from the many things that bother me about the way the Salvation Army operates, why is employment assistance part of their purview? Isn't that something that SLATE and the Department of Economic Development should handle, to make sure people can get access to decent jobs?

Anyway, it appears that at this time the American Red Cross - St. Louis chapter is the coordinator for all help requests by evacuees. FEMA reps are also located there, so evacuees can register for help through FEMA. The Red Cross local office is located at:

10195 Corporate Square (at Lindbergh)
St. Louis, MO 63132
Call toll free:

To get there by MetroBus:

-- #49 Lindbergh northbound stops practically at the front door (about 1/2 mile north of the Olive Blvd. overpass). #49 Lindbergh;

-- But from #49 Lindbergh southbound it is nearly impossible to get across the road. This stretch of Lindbergh is pretty much a high-speed expressway. It's much safer to get off the #49 Lindbergh southbound 1/2 mile north, at Schuetz Road/Baur Blvd., cross Lindbergh at the signal, then walk south alongside the northbound lanes until you hit the Red Cross building.

#49 Lindbergh operates every 30 minutes on weekdays, 5 AM to 7:30 PM; every 60 minutes on Saturdays, 5:30 AM to 7:30 PM; and does not service the Lindbergh corridor on Sundays. #49 Lindbergh connects with the following other routes:

North of Red Cross (i.e., you'd be riding southbound, so get off at Schuetz):
--MetroLink, #04 Natural Bridge, #34 Earth City, #45 Hazelwood-Ferguson, #47 Cross County, #61 Chambers Road, all at North Hanley MetroLink Station;
--Greyhound and #66 Clayton-Airport at the Lambert Airport Bus Port (located at the entrance to airport intermediate parking);
--#32 Wellston-Martin Luther King and #60 Midland at Northwest Plaza;
--#33 Dorsett-Lackland at Midland Blvd. overpass (hazardous walking area);
--#94 Page at Page Ave. overpass (hazardous walking area);

South of Red Cross (i.e., you'd be riding northbound, so you can get off right at the Red Cross):

--#91 Olive on Olive Blvd. or Old Olive Street Rd. (or, could just walk 1/2 mile from Olive overpass; hazardous walking area);
--#93 Lindell (selected trips) between Ladue Rd. and Conway Rd.;
--#57 Manchester, #58 Clayton-Ballas, and the Chesterfield Connectors (one of which serves Chesterfield Airport Road near the "Regional Assistance Center"), all at the Ballas Road MetroBus Center;
--#92 Lindenwood at Adams Ave. in Kirkwood;
--#47 Cross County (selected trips) at Big Bend Blvd. in Kirkwood;
--#10 Gravois (selected trips) and #11 Chippewa at Sunset Hills Plaza (Watson Rd.);
--#10 Gravois (selected trips) at Gravois Rd.;
--#47 Cross County (selected trips) at Tesson Ferry Rd.;
--#40 Broadway and #52 Clayton-South County at South County Center.

-- Other options sometimes available are the #91 Olive branch via JCCA which runs on Schuetz/Baur, and stops at Lindbergh, about 1/2 mile north of the Red Cross; and the #94 Page branch via Schuetz. Check both schedules to find out when they run via JCCA/Schuetz.

By the way, Metro operators themselves are making a huge contribution to the relief effort.

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