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Praying outside the Armory

Visitors pray with hurricane evacuees.

Visitors to the D.C. Armory come offering services, housing and even spiritual guidance.

Those who know of relatives or friends living inside check in at a guest booth across the street, shielded by a green awning, before being led by Red Cross workers to find their loved ones.

Jodie and Chris Cottles, of Woodbridge, Va., saw the plight of the hurricane evacuees on television and wanted to help, too.


Checking in for a visit.

Though they didn't know anyone personally, the couple chatted with numerous residents outside the Armory steps, hoping to find a family of four to live in a spare room they had in their house.

They said they'd even welcome pets.

But the Virginia couple was told by Armory officials that anyone wanting to provide shelter for the evacuees would have to undergo a background check first, and that would take time. It was in the interest and safety of the evacuees as well as those who offered, officials told them.

"We just came to offer a room in our house," Jodie Cottles said.

"We thought it was as easy as showing up, picking a family and that's it," her husband added.


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Photos and text by April Chan
Published  Sept. 16, 2005


Banner graphic by April Chan, incorporating photo from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Newsline Web content edited by Chris Harvey; Capital News Service stories edited by Adrianne Flynn and Tony Barbieri.  

Copyright 2005 University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism

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