Friday, May 12, 2006

Salvation Army Rebuilding Grants

NOTE: This posting is also contained, for permanent access, on the panel to the right - available for downloading.

There is great news from Pearlington today!

The Savation Army has announced a newly-created program to assist homeowners rebuild their house. These grants are a one-time rebuilding grant of up to $10,000.00 for homeowners affected by Katrina. They are not available retroactively and application must be made properly for them to be accepted. They are non-discriminatory, in that no financial need be proven, nor will other sources of relief exclude an applicant.

The application must be submitted by a 501(c) or (d)3 agency on behalf of the individual homeowner. It is strictly for materials and works much like a voucher. We submit an application with the amount of material, price and vendor, which then goes to review board. If approved, the cheque is cut directly to the vendor. This will help keep the process transparent. If will require us to work in concert with the homeowner and to guide them in the best ways in which to invest this money in their homes. It will cover anything from exterior and structural materials, to fixtures, kitchen cabinets, vanities etc. We need to assist them in examining their current resources to find out what is needed the most.

Access to this program is the culmination of a lot of effort by Bob Putnam, a volunteer who is currently in Pearlington and who is dedicating his time to the rebuilding effort there. Bob and I are currently working on a list of recommended sources of materials; vendors who are willing to give us the biggest bang for the available buck and who, like Warren Tidwell of Alabama, are trustworthy and have their hearts in the right place. The individual homeowners are free though, in fact, to source the materials from wherever they choose. Some vendors Bob has researched are not interested in providing price breaks - they are making too much at retail. Some could not handle the demand.

Bob spoke recently with the manager of Abita Springs Lumber in upstate Louisiana, for instance, and reports:

“he was enthused that we were looking beyond the big three (Home Depot, Lowes and 84 lumber) and is offering incentives; possibly free shipping, and up to a 20% discount. They are the company that delivers the materials for the shed program across from the PDA Camp. Is willing to let us draw off the materials as we need them so that we don't have to find places that are going to be safe from the elements. This means that we can still use the storage area you arranged in Pearlington for short term storage, but won't have to have a stockpile sitting on the property. Just how much material to keep on short-term hand there is something that is going to have to be figured out. Having the vendor store the materials I think this is safer; because then the materials will not be drawn down until we need them. Although we have to have a specific list of materials on the grant application, the lumber company is going to let us deviate from the materials list. I am also investigating lumber mills in northern Mississippi and Alabama.”

It is important that all the qualifying agencies become involved. The Salvation Army wishes to spread the available monies among agencies of differing faiths and origin, as well as ensuring that it is evenly spread among the various affected communities.

Bob Putnam will serve as point man. He has the applications, will assist in their fulfilment and help you guide the process through. He is available at the Pearl*Mart most days and may be reached there at 228-533-0101. His cell phone number is 315-406-8234. Please remember that, like all volunteers, Bob has to cover his own cell phone bill.

He also may be reached by email at:

Please put “Salvation Army Grants” in the subject line to ensure delivery. If you have questions, please contact me. For efficiency and cost control to Bob, I will condense them and forward them to Bob and post the answers or one of us will get back to you privately.

Canada Jon


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