Flood victims will get low-interest loans, state help - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Flood victims will get low-interest loans, state help

July 19, 2005

Sylvester- Joani Louden is in Sylvester to make sure Anthony Richardson's family gets what they need.

"A little bit of everything. Anything that you would need..." she said.

After surviving flood waters. Eight inches of rain in Sylvester more than a week ago left many with nothing.

"They are displaced," Louden said. "They're living with family and friends and in motels.

Louden is with the Adventist Church Disaster Team. The group tries to make sure those people have plenty to eat and the supplies to begin cleaning up their homes. But that's a process that will take time and money.

The organizations helping out say they know there are people who need help who haven't been to the fire station or the old Snipes building to get it. They stress the importance of making sure victims get the help they deserve.

Some of that money victims will need will come from low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration.

"There's some help here and that's the important thing," said Gary Rice, the field coordinator with GEMA.

Everyone won't qualify for those loans, but those who don't will get help from the state through an Individual Assistance program.

"That will close the gap and help everybody in that area, so if they do not qualify for the SBA, they automatically quality for the Individual Assistance, so that's great news," said Sylvester Mayor Bill Yearta.

So every flood victim working to clean up their lives needs to apply for a SBA loan.

"You've got to be declined by small business administration in order for us to kick the state money in," Rice said.

Everyone else needs to make much needed donations so Louden can keep making sure people have what they need.

"They don't have to bring much," she said. "Just bring something."

Something so she can keep handing out to help people who need it.

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