The homeless of Boulder were turned away from emergency Red Cross shelters on Thursday, despite promises that they would be treated the same as residents in a citywide emergency like widespread flooding.
Spokesperson Patricia Billinger for Red Cross said turning people away is not its policy, and that it will not happen again.
Billinger said they are unsure of exactly who turned the homeless away.
Executive Director Isabel McDevitt of Bridge House, one shelter, said they have been working with city and county emergency management for six months to develop an emergency system for the homeless. A meeting was scheduled for Thursday to finalize those plans.
During several of those meetings McDevitt said the homeless would be treated the same, though they were turned away because they had not been previously housed.
McDevitt called the action “totally unacceptable” and is concerned for those who could have been exposed to harsh conditions.
“Or God forbid, someone drowned,” she added. “We don't know what's happened in the mountains."
Additionally, McDevitt said that there are multiple plans for the homeless in protecting them from heat or cold, but widespread flooding is often difficult to handle.
"We're just trying to use our resources to the maximum capacity to help people,” McDevitt said, “but this is an emergency way beyond the capacity of the nonprofit community."