The North Florida Inland Long Term Recovery Group and associated volunteers continue to work on helping local citizens find solutions for their unmet needs associated with Hurricane Michael.

The team is sharing stories as the work moves along. One of the most recent successes came at the end of July, when Larry and Rosie Simmons became the first family to be sheltered in temporary housing through the RVs provided by FEMA to the local community.

The group also shared another story at that time, recounting the help provide to a single mother and her youngsters. Honoring her wish not to be identified by name in that telling, the group code-named her “Mary,” and shared the following circumstances related to this “individual who felt helpless, and didn't know where to turn.”

“She and her children had lost their home and all their belongings to Hurricane Michael,” the team wrote in a press release about the case. “Soon after the storm, she also lost her job. This family of four had nowhere to go, and no income to secure shelter. Mary did the best she could to keep her family together, but was often forced to split the children up between friends and family while she slept in her vehicle. After some time, she was able to get another job, but had to commute more than 30 miles each way which complicated the situation further. Unable to find a place to live, Mary and her kids bounced from pillar to post for eight long months,” the release continued.

“Once the North Florida Inland Long Term Recovery Group received Mary's online assessment, they were able to assess her overall situation, and engage partners with resources to help Mary's family recover,” the group reported.

“In this situation, the following providers partnered to close the circle of unmet needs: RCC helped find and secure housing; Career Source Chipola helped Mary qualify for a local job; Innovative Charities provided a bed, clothing and food for the family; Sleep In Heavenly Peace built new bunk beds for the kids; Trinity Powerhouse Church offered spiritual counseling and provided new bedding; Early Learning Coalition of NWFL provided secure and stable childcare.”

The result of all this help was also reported. “On June 23, for the first time in eight months, Mary and her children slept in their own beds, under the same roof. The family was presented with a house warming basket filled with personal items, cleaning supplies, towels, snacks, and candles.”

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