Lack of funds halt Hurricane Michael recovery in Jackson and Calhoun County
The North Florida Long Term Recovery Group has been working to repair Calhoun and Jackson County since Hurricane Michael ripped through the area.
“When we started our program right after the storm we thought it would be a good 3 to 5 years and I think every bit of that is what it's going to take and that's with sufficient funding,” says disaster pastor Chris Ackerman. (Ackerman's official title is Director of Hurricane Michael Recovery with Alabama West Florida Conference of United Methodist Church.)
Some of the agencies partnered with the recovery group are still lending out trailers for those whose homes were damaged.
“After we repair one home we move that to another home and start repairing on that home,” says Chipola Baptist Association Director of Missions Coba Beasley.
Others are looking for long term solutions for those in unstable homes.
“We're building houses from the ground up because when that next storm comes whether it’s a hurricane or tornado or whatever it might be a stiff built home is always going to be better than a mobile home,” says Ackerman.
The goal is to help everyone who needs it, but the millions in funding that were allotted have already been used to repair and rebuild homes and yet there's lots of work that still needs to be done, and it can't wait for the long state and federal grant processes.
“When it comes to funding and things like that it takes a while for that to get down to the people who need it the most and right now your nonprofits are using their own money,” says Ackerman.
We're just looking for funding to help fund roofs, help do sheetrock floors, walls,” says Beasley.
The true rainbow after the storm is the collaboration to restore what Michael ruined.
“We never wished for this storm to happen but we're thankful for the partnerships and the way we have come together as a community and really help people out,” says Ackerman.
You can still make a difference in these counties by donating or volunteering your time.
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