Sylvester non-profit wants help from the city - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sylvester non-profit wants help from the city

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By Len Kiese - bio | email

SYLVESTER, GA (WALB) - Another South Georgia non-profit organization is struggling to stay afloat.

Family Visions Outreach in Sylvester has helped families through floods, hunger and other hard times but it's getting harder to do it alone. Monday night they headed to another potential source in hopes of getting funding.

It wasn't a pretty sight in parts of Worth County this past Spring after storms hit. "Aww man, it came all over the yard," said Wayne Williams.

Water didn't just fill ditches and yards. 8 inches of rain caused about 4 feet of flooding inside Wayne Williams' home on West Street.

"It got all the beds, clothes and turned over our living room chairs and everything," said Williams. Everything was damaged.  It was just another hard blow after both Williams and his fiancee were laid-off from their jobs.  But then there came a vision.

"They came right on in and helped us out with a whole lot of stuff," said Williams.

"We were one of the first responders for that flood by giving out food, clothes, household needs and whatever they needed," said Family Visions Outreach CEO Judy Hall.

Pastor Judy Hall heads up Family Visions. "I have a passion for helping God's people," said Hall.

That outreach comes in the form of flooding help, an after school program and food assistance for a growing number of families. "There's a great need," said Hall, "we have people coming here just for food maybe three or four times a day, emergency food, nothing in their kitchens."

All the help costs Family Visions about $65,000 a year and it's tough. "We're just trying to help but we don't have funding. We're not getting donations. We can barely pay our light bill," said Hall.

So the organization says they have no choice but to ask the city of Sylvester for financial help in the form of $20,000 a year. "We just need some help to be able to provide all of these services which are so desperately needed in Sylvester," said Hall.

The money would help with program funding and the maintenance of their facility and when nature decides to make an impact in Sylvester neighborhoods. For people like Wayne Williams, the help is heaven sent.

"The Lord couldn't send nobody better than Miss Judy. Our heart was in their heart and they came right on, right on out," said Williams. To keep the vision, the organization will have to see more money coming in than going out.

Pastor Hall along with dozens of people her organization helped filed into city hall Monday night to request the money. The city approved her request. They'll enter into a contract for a yearly stipend of $20,000.  

The organization is also looking forward to breaking ground on a Department of Community Affairs housing project that should begin by the end of the year.

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