By Daniel Brunty
Winston County Journal
The community-based recovery fund “WinstonStrong” held its weekly resource meeting at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Louisville this
past Thursday, August 14.
The meeting began with introductions, followed with an update by Executive Director Bro. Mike Dowd. Dowd began with the financial update regarding the Disaster Relief Fund. As of August 14, the Disaster Fund had $340,417. Dowd mentioned that out of this total, WinstonStrong officials had written checks for $9,747, and have sent out authorization vouchers for $11,565, and have pledged $20,000 for a rebuild of a home with Mennonite Disaster Services. The total amount of dollars that has been committed by the fund is $41,312.
Dowd gave an update on World Renew services that have been in Winston County for the past week. As of August 14, the World Renew workers had seen 123 households for assessment. Dowd said when speaking to the World Renew workers, they felt that it was worth the trip coming to Winston County because of the number of households they were able to assess.
Dowd also gave an update on the present status stating the group has 18 rebuilds, 24 major repairs, seven minor repairs, one temporary repair, six outbuildings, nine advice sessions, two estimates on repair, five equipment and tools needed, 21 materials and supplies, and 32 labor projects
Dowd also gave a report on recovery estimates. “Uninsured construction damage and contents loss is estimated at 2 million six hundred and fifty-two thousand one hundred and sixteen dollars. This is how much money is needed to cover the uninsured; both building construction and contents,” Dowd said. “So you see that we have quite a bit. Insured construction and contents losses are estimated at 3 million five hundred and thirty thousand seven hundred and twenty-seven dollars. So, the total recovery cost for our area with just 117 households assessed, is six million one hundred and eighty-two thousand eight hundred and forty-three dollars. This is with more households to be assessed.”
He went to explain how these assessments are used when applying for grants to help aid in the recovery process, as well as use the same assessments to bring in other organizations for assistance such as Christian Aid. Dowd thanked everyone who got the word out about World Renew to make this possible, as well as those who showed the World Renew team a lot of Winston County hospitality.
The next organization Dowd mentioned was Christian Aid, who came in and worked with all victims of the storm, including the underinsured. Christian Aid asked to make camp somewhere within the community so they could stay on to assist in the recovery efforts. Dowd stated that Allen Lovorn has allowed for Christian Aid members to set up camp on his property.
Dowd then reminded everyone of the Rally Alley Rumble held Thursday, August 14. The group took up donations on behalf of the organization during the event.
Next, WinstonStrong Volunteer Coordinator Hubert Yates gave the volunteer report for the week. Yates stated last week they had three teams in the area that completed nine projects, including six chainsaw projects, three gut-outs of homes in preparation for rebuilding, with 312 total man hours. Yates gave an update of teams that will be arriving during Spring Break, as well as some groups in September. Yates then brought up the subject of local volunteers. “We began to talk about local volunteers, and us getting local people involved in our project,” Yates said. “Bro. Billy Metts stepped up, and he has got a group of local men here out of Mt. Moriah and the Men’s Group. They will be teamed with some skilled labor coming out of Jackson, and they have taken on three projects they will work this weekend.”
Yates also stated that a group of Boy Scouts will be coming that weekend to do some light debris work, as well as re-tarp a few homes. Yates also informed the group that they have received another donation at their warehouse from Louisville Church of Christ of 10 washer and dryer sets, with refrigerators arriving Friday, August 15.
Yates went on to state that the organization was in need of volunteer assistance at the warehouse regarding a shipment of shingles that they can receive for the cost of the freight, which is around $4,800. Yates asked if any individual or organization could donate to reach the goal of the freight, please do so.
The last thing Yates asked that if anyone had any quality used furniture to donate, please do so as well. He also asked that if you donate it, make sure it is of some quality.
Next to speak was Case Manager Coordinator Mellie Jordan, who gave an update on the case managers. Jordan stated that they around 100 cases, and have closed a few cases recently. She then gave a list of needs, including household items and furniture. Jordan then went on to explain how these homes need all the assistance they can get, and hope that the meetings will soon bring more quicker solutions to some of the immediate needs of some cases that can allow them to be closed.
Jordan went on to state that she had been in touch with Christian Aid, and relayed some of the things the organization will need once they arrive on the scene. She also mentioned that she had been contacted by some local contractors for the possibility of their teams taking over a rebuild of one of the homes that were damaged.
The next update was for MEMA, which was provided by MEMA representative Meredith Lee. Lee informed the group that they had 10 no contact clients last week, and with the help of the community were able to locate these clients and assess their needs. As of the 77 cases from MEMA, 37 of those had been closed, with 40 of those being referred to Jordan.
Next, Dowd asked everyone to be aware of the FEMA Strategic Community Recovery Planning Meetings on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. at City Hall. He went onto explain how the meetings work, and how they want to plan for Louisville to look in the next seven years. He also explained the importance of these strategic plans in regards to asking for additional funds for the federal government. So Dowd asked for everyone to get the word out about the meetings and to attend and take part in shaping the future of Winston County.
WinstonStrong will hold its next resource meeting on August 21 at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Louisville.