Many Flood Victims Aren't Applying For Assistance - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

04/23/08 - San Augustine

Many Flood Victims Aren't Applying For Assistance

by Donna McCollum

The Small Business Administration offers fixed term loans with a two and three quarter to four percent interest rate. Attractive indeed, but the notes may still be too much for 67 year old Eula Ikner. She's alone, in poor health and living with a friend. For the first time in her life she has nothing. Ikner quietly said, " I lost everything I had." A flood swept through her home on March 31. Ms Ikner is deciding if she can afford to rebuild. She's isn't alone. Mayor Leroy Hughes said,  " Eighty percent of the victims that were affected probably will not go through a loan process simply because they don't have the resources to pay it back. "

Service agencies, including Tri County Community Action is seeking federal grants. Director, Janettte Williams is hopeful.  " Your publicity will help fema come on down here and help our applications and to really see some of the septic problems that are so bad that you can't even walk up to it and some of the people that can't even communicate. "   That would be the families myra Jones is helping. She's a bilingual intern for Tri-County. The residents pooled their money to buy the land. They lost their frugal belongings. Children's toys are tossed about. Clothes lay in a heap. Jones must explain why financial help is available to others, but not to them. Jones explained,  " The majority are undocumented so the services that they receive will, of course, be different, so we have to go through other means to try to assist them. "

There are differences in heritage or citizenship. There are differences for those financially stable and those who aren't. Yet they have something in common, the loss of the place they call home. Ms. Ikner appreciates the offered help, but said,  " That doesn't take care of the fact so many memories are gone. "

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