Homeless complain of segregation during Hurricane Irma

Volusia County officials accused of turning evacuees away from shelters


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – In the wake of Hurricane Irma, homeless people and their advocates in Florida are complaining that some were turned away from shelters, separated from other evacuees via yellow wristbands, or otherwise ill-treated during the crisis.

A record 72,000 Floridians sought refuge from the storm at nearly 400 shelters.

Many of the complaints have been blamed on misunderstandings, the sheer magnitude of the disaster, the crush of people needing shelter immediately or inadequate state and local emergency planning.

The response varied by county. In Miami, over 700 homeless were picked up and taken to shelters, but in Volusia County, officials were accused of turning evacuees away with no explanation.