As Hurricane Harvey ravages the Texas coast, its effects are being felt right in our neighborhood.

Samuell-Grand Recreation Center opened as a hurricane relief shelter on Sunday afternoon. By 4 p.m., the shelter started receiving people and as of Sunday night, 40 of the 150 beds were filled. Samuell-Grand is one of three shelters in Dallas at the moment. The others are at Walnut Hill Recreation Center in North Dallas, which held 300 people; and Tommie Allen Recreation Center in southern Dallas, which housed 100 people as of Sunday night.

There haven’t yet been any coordinated efforts to bring large groups of evacuees to Dallas, but people who are able to get to the centers can get meals and a bed. Ed Martelle, the Red Cross spokesman at Samuell-Grand, says that buses will start ferrying people to Dallas on Monday or Tuesday, and that the Dallas Convention Center will be opening as a hurricane relief shelter on Tuesday.

Martelle says that the center at Samuell-Grand is no longer accepting direct donations, and that the best thing to do is to donate money at or text “Harvey” to 90999 to immediately send $10. To make a physical donation of blankets, baby supplies, food or water, goods can be delivered Trusted World in Allen, where items are sorted, cleaned and distributed where they are most needed.

They are no longer accepting donations at Samuell-Grand. The Salvation Army has partnered with local businesses to provide meals, with McAlister’s deli serving lunch on Sunday.

“We are going to be here as long as they need us to be here,” Martelle says. “We don’t turn anybody away.”

Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.