Florida residents seek shelter from Ian's wrath, count blessings despite losses

Osceola Heritage Park's arena has been turned into a shelter. All the cots have been set up, so people can sleep over here. They have meals three times a day. Of course, many only came with the shirts on their back.

"I lost everything," said Good Samaritan Village resident Edwin Sheran. He and others arrived by bus after being flooded out of their homes.

"It’s been a nightmare basically," said Donna Mosely, adding that this is the third shelter she has been to. "We had to move out of the first one because it’s an elementary school, so they had to get that cleaned out. But now they just moved us from the Civic Center."

Sheran said there’s no way back home, where people were rescued by the National Guard and airboats. "Good Samaritan Village is flooded up to the max." Currently, the American Red Cross has 50 people staying here at the Osceola Heritage Park shelter. The Kissimmee Civic Center is at capacity.


American Red Cross spokesperson, Brian Murnahan said, "We’re going to have shelters open here till they’re not needed anymore."

"It’s very clean. It’s quiet," said Mosely. After going inside, they immediately felt a relaxing vibe.

Mosely walked in with a new air mattress and bedding, donated from the people with whom she works at Orange County Corrections. "They came yesterday and took me shopping. And brought, got a lot of stuff that I needed, so I’m very blessed that they’re helping me."

Sheran was able to find something in the donation section. "I got some new hats, I just got a bag of pants, shirts, and some shorts." 

So despite losing everything in this retirement community, it’s incredible that they’re still able to count their blessings.

"Believe in God and anything is possible." And with that faith, they have hope they’ll be back home once again. "Accept things you cannot change and be grateful, thankful, and take it one day at a time."
And there’s plenty of room at  Osceola Heritage Park for people who need a place to stay.