FEMA Helping Individuals and Churches - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

11/02/05 - Nacogdoches

FEMA Helping Individuals and Churches

by Donna McCollum

FEMA has extended the deadline for hurricane assistance. Individuals now have until January 11th to apply for money to help pay for damages. There are many individuals expecting FEMA reimbursements. So far, more than 5,600 people in Nacogdoches County and more than 9,200 Angelina County residents have applied for FEMA assistance. The numbers continue to climb.

Besides individuals, many public agencies, including churches, are also hoping for reimbursement money. Churches quickly opened their doors to the sick and elderly escaping both hurricanes. At the time, how they would pay for it was the last thing on volunteers' minds. Norman Edwards with North Street Church of Christ said, "When we entered into this agreement, we never did think about the money end of the thing. We felt like there was a need and it was our responsibility to set up and do it."

Later, news came that cities and hospitals could ask for reimbursements in the church's behalf. The effort was greatly appreciated. Terry Hodge, pastor of First Christian Church, said, "Our utility costs landed about $6,000 to $7,000 for that month, and ordinarily they would be about $1500, so it was considerably more expensive for us."

Memorial Hospital District has submitted reimbursement requests for First Christian Church. The City of Nacogdoches has done so for the other churches in town. Susan Compton is processing all the paperwork. "We've been assigned a project officer and a team of folks that are staying here in Nacogdoches, and they're pretty much at our disposal. In fact, we're going to meet with them on some issues, and they are just ready to process the paperwork as fast as we can get it. We just want to be thorough and organized and not miss anything."

The reimbursements will meet church's needs but, at North Street Church of Christ, about $3,000 in expected reimbursements will be directed to helping hurricane victims.

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