Cornell College in Mount Vernon is providing emergency housing in a college dormitory for homeless women and children as well as out-of-towners who’ve come to the area to work. Red Cross relief workers as well as the women and children flooded out of the "Aid To Women Center" in Cedar Rapids are staying in Cornell’s dorms, for free.
ServiceMaster, a company that specializes in the kind of cleanup that’s going on in flooded out businesses and homes, has sent temporary workers to Iowa and they’re paying for dorm space at Cornell for those workers. Michelle Smith of Kansas City is a temporary ServiceMaster employee.
"We’ve seen a lot of different disasters from flooding to tornadoes on a lot of the local news in Kansas City, Kansas, and also on CNN and we just figured out that if we give a little bit of our time and help out, who knows? Something might happen to Kansas City, Kansas and we’ll need other people to come in and help us," Smith says.
Smith was among a group of 30 people who were hired in Kansas City as temporary ServiceMaster employees, then bused to the Cedar Rapids area. "They have it in the local newspaper, like the job news, and they have where it says if you want to actually volunteer — but you actually get paid to do this — to go out of town to help with disasters," Smith says.
About 60 out-of-state law enforcement officers have been eating, sleeping and showering at the Mount Vernon High School. Mount Vernon is about 20 miles to the southeast of Cedar Rapids.