In this Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 photo, residents look over the school bus where a shooting occurred near Destiny Church along U.S. 231, just north of Midland City, Ala. on Tuesday. Police, SWAT teams and negotiators were at a rural property where a man was believed to be holed up in a homemade bunker Wednesday, HAN 30, 2013 after fatally shooting the driver of a school bus and fleeing with a 6-year-old child passenger, authorities said. The man boarded the stopped school bus in the town of Midland City on Tuesday afternoon and shot the driver when he refused to let the child off the bus. The bus driver died. (AP Photo/The Dothan Eagle, Danny Tindell)
Midland city residents who lived near Jimmy Lee Dykes have been kept from their homes for a week.
The families were evacuated as a precaution, when dykes took 5-year-old Ethan hostage last Tuesday.
Many are wondering when they'll be allowed back.
“As we understand they are not back in the homes because it is still being processed as a crime scene.” Red Cross Executive Susan Holmes said.
Although this may be an inconvenience, the local Red Cross has been trying to keep the families as comfortable as possible
“We are still working with the families that we've previously helped to be sure they have got accommodations.” Holmes said.
Holmes says they're booking hotel rooms one day at a time, in case the families get the "okay" to head back home.
“They want to get back in and start picking up the pieces of their life and moving on.” Holmes said.
Besides keeping the families physically comfortable, the Red Cross is also providing a different kind of comfort.
“We're supporting them with mental health counseling and we're extending that beyond immediate families. We have law enforcement and other agencies that have responded even the reporters. Everyone has been very stressed and very emotionally taxed and so we are going to continue to provide that important service.” Holmes said.
A service that Holmes says often goes unnoticed with her organization.
‘It may take some time out before nightmares start happening. But it’s such an important component of what doesn’t seem like a physical service by the Red Cross.” Holmes said.
She says the Red Cross will continue their support for evacuees until they are let back into their homes
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