In response to the historic flooding along the Arkansas River, it’s all hands on deck for local shelters, including Evangel Temple in Fort Smith.  

Over 70 people stayed overnight at the Red Cross shelter because their homes are underwater. 

Evangel Temple’s Associate Pastor, Ryan Rose, said they have been housing displaced people for seven days, and each day they have been taking in more people. 

With more people, comes more food and Rose said the shelter serves two meals at a time three times a day. 

“The Salvation Army is the arm that is taking care of the foods,” Rose said. 

With the help of Red Cross, which runs the operation, the church contributes in other ways. 

“We aim to be the hands and feed of Christ. We want to do anything and everything to help people in their time of need,” Rose said. 

This anything and everything? Includes a hot shower. 
“They are just providing a basic need that we take for granted,” Rose said. 
The shelter sees between 75 and 100 people in and out throughout the day, Rose said there is still room to take in more. 
“Right now we are open if people have a need in the Arkansas River Valley, Oklahoma side of the border, Van Buren side of the river — anyone and everyone is welcome,” Rose said. 
There is not a set date for the shelter to close and will continue to provide shelter and security as the storms continue. 
For more information or to donate to the shelter, click here.