A Polk County man fell through the cracks of the system after losing everything he owns to Irma. We set out to find help for Richard Jones after finding out he’d moved into his van.
POLK COUNTY, Fla. - Irma trashed Richard Jones' home and all that he owns. High winds ripped away the roof from his apartment then rained insulation, water and debris inside.
With no where else to go and no information on shelter locations the 72-year-old moved into his old van. He set up a bed, curtain and cooler and rode out a four-day heat wave.
Jones’ niece got him out of the van and into a shelter in Winter Haven. Then the question became where does he go from there.
While social workers and FEMA reps met with victims at other shelters this evacuee spent his fourth night in the shelter not knowing whether he would wind up back in his vehicle.
We relayed his plight to Red Cross' regional office worker last night. A case worker showed up this morning.
By Friday, Red Cross says it will have found Jones a place to stay and some new clothes.
Jones says he is thankful to God for the blessing of food and shelter and people that care.