Neighborhood watch group discusses relief efforts

Neighborhood watch group discusses relief efforts
The group discussed storm relief (Source:WALB)
City officials spoke to the group (Source:WALB)
City officials spoke to the group (Source:WALB)
Ralph Rambeau, member (Source:WALB)
Ralph Rambeau, member (Source:WALB)

DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Neighborhood watch members across Dougherty County are concerned some community members may be confused by the processes of registering for disaster aid.

Members said their goal is to talk with their neighbors to make sure they get the help they need.

"Citizens are afraid to ask questions because they are thinking they are going to have to pay back a whole lot of money when they get these grants or these loans," said member Ralph Rambeau. "They don't want to get involved in it."

Rambeau said there are a lot misconceptions about federal and other assistance floating around his neighborhood.

"How do we get this out to the community," asks Rambeau, regarding accurate information about assistance programs.

Answering that question is Shelena Hawkins, the Director of the Albany Department of Community & Economic Development.

"By hearing us, seeing us, hopefully that will help us to improve our community relations," said Hawkins.

Hawkins added that grants awarded by FEMA don't have to be paid back, but low interest, long-term disaster loans from the Small Business Administration do.

Its all information Rambeau said he want to make sure everyone in his neighborhood hears loud and clear.

He adds he's ready to spread the word.

"Yes," said Rambeau. "I would like for the churches and all the other civic organizations to get involved to get the word out to our citizens."

A group effort Rambeau said will benefit the entire community.

City officials encouraged folks to apply for assistance whether they had a lot of damage or just a little.

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