WARM had its most successful year in agency history by serving over 180 households in 2019. However, the need is so great that our waiting list still hovers at 200 families long, nearly a one-year backlog. WARM has increased productivity almost every year, even during the Great Recession. WARM strengthened its capacity by hiring two additional construction professionals to shorten the wait time and recruited hundreds more volunteers. Over 32,000 volunteer hours were served with WARM in 2019: a record number!
Since Hurricane Florence, WARM has assisted 171 homeowners recover from hurricane damage. Together, we have helped many in our community but there is still a lot to be done. Within our current waiting list, 107 homeowners are still waiting for hurricane assistance and continue to live in disrepair. But with your help, we were able to help one of them, Ms. Barbara.
“I hope they can help so I don’t have to move. Don’t know where I would go if I had to move.”
Ms. Barbara wrote this quote in her application to WARM, pleading for help. She is an elderly widow of a Marine Veterans and has lived in their home for over 33 years. Before her husband’s death, he experienced a tragic accident where he was in a coma for 5 years. This led her to become an ordained minister. She hosts worship services in a church located in her backyard, until Hurricane Florence hit.
Ms. Barbara suffered severe roof damage from the hurricane causing extensive flooding. This caused her floors to become so water damaged she was scared she was going to fall through at any moment. She didn’t know where to turn; then she found WARM.
With help from volunteers and generous donors, WARM finished rebuilding her home in fall of 2019. We installed a brand-new roof, repaired all water damaged flooring, built a new landing and stairs, installed new kitchen cabinets, and new doors.
Thank you for your support of WARM. You helped Barbara remain in her home. She regained her confidence to invite her neighbors into her home and can continue worship in her backyard.
"It's hard to figure out how to relay what I feel for the WARM labor of love towards myself and others that have been impacted by the recent storms in just a few words. I am so grateful to God, not only for your help, but for the love you showed."
This quote is from WARM homeowner Ms. Rhonda. Damaging flood waters from Hurricane Florence caused her home to become uninhabitable for over a year. She lost everything- all her clothes, furniture, and belongings were destroyed.
While navigating through FEMA claims and disaster recovery, Ronda moved into her daughter’s apartment and waited for answers. FEMA was able to begin gutting and repairing her home, but she quickly ran out of funding and was forced to abandon rebuilding. This is when WARM stepped in to help.
WARM began working quickly and completed the repairs allowing Ms. Rhonda to return to her new home.
When Ms. Rhonda shared her story at the WARM Fall Fundraising Event, she said,
“I’d like to thank each and every individual who has supported WARM financially. You all made it possible for WARM to repair my home, along with so many others. Your generosity will continue to improve lives and rebuild our community.”
Thank you for your support and helping in bringing Rhonda back home.
Dorothy is in her 70’s and still works part time for a cleaning service to cover basic living expenses such as food, electricity, and medical bills.
She has owned her home for over 30 years, but it was becoming difficult to pay for costly repairs. She had no hot water and the home badly needed roof repairs. In August 2018, she applied to WARM.
Unfortunately, Hurricane Florence arrived at Dorothy’s house before WARM did.
Her aging roof was no match for 90 mph winds and the roof collapsed, causing insulation and debris to fall through the ceiling. With large holes in the ceiling, cold air continuously entered the home. Dorothy was forced to close off several rooms and use space heaters in the remainder of her home just to stay warm.
The generosity of people like you enabled WARM staff and volunteers to act quickly to address hurricane damage and make the repairs she needed before the storm.
Dorothy now has a WARM, safe and secure home!
Cape Fear Area survivors of Hurricane Florence who still face unmet needs are among the state’s poorest and are still recovering from having been battered and submerged in 2016’s Hurricane Matthew. Many remain displaced, living in extended-stay hotels or with family, while awaiting repairs to their homes. Others have moved back into moldy homes.
“You lost your life, essentially, twice in two years,” one homeowner said. “Especially where we have seniors on fixed incomes, that got hit in the recession, and families, already living paycheck to paycheck, it’s going to take time to get things back to normal.”
WARM is serving low-income homeowners affected by Hurricane Florence in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender Counties. After Hurricane Florence, our staff contacted all 174 people on our pre-storm waiting list and 91 reported damage of some kind from Florence. Since that time, we have added over 100 more names to the list of individuals and families who have damage to their home due to the storm.
The goal of this grant was to rebuild 6 homes with Hurricane Florence damage. We have completed 4, with one of them being Ms. Lina. Her story is attached along with a photo. We still have 2 more to complete, but we are working swiftly to get these underway and complete.
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