Family Provided Emergency Housing to Those in Need

A reader recalls how her family provided emergency housing to folks stranded in snowstorm.

| November/December 2012

One winter in the early 1970s, when we were living in Wellington, Kansas, we had a major snowstorm with high winds that shut down the toll road between Wellington to South Haven and the Oklahoma state line.

The road workers had a losing battle with high winds because as soon as they opened a stretch, the winds blew the snow right back. Many motorists had been rescued and were being housed in the National Guard Armory in Wellington.

Soon, a call went out via radio that it would be greatly appreciated if anyone could provide emergency housing, because there was a shortage of cots at the Armory.

My husband and oldest son took our Corvair uptown and, by making several trips, brought three families whose cars had to be abandoned, to stay with us. One family had a small baby, and they were very grateful to have a warm, quiet place for the child.

We had a large combination living room-dining room, and the families laid out pallets on the floor for sleeping. I believe one had a bed roll he always carried in his car, so he brought that to use.

They were very easy to please, and when the baby ran out of diapers, we used old pillowcases to make homemade diapers. I had hens in the freezer, and one of the ladies was good at making noodles, so we had some great meals.

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