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SWLA needs help calling out Washington D.C.

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Posted at 4:19 PM, Jul 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-31 17:21:50-04

A Lake Charles organization has released an "ACT NOW" campaign to help the region 's businesses receive immediate relief 11 months after the impact of five major disasters, in one treacherous year.

Rebuilding SWLA's mission: is to highlight humanitarian efforts and advances, they say, and to restore businesses, cultural assets, and infrastructure in Southwest Louisiana, following the 2020 hurricane season.

Now their motion to unite with the community to get federal funding from Washington, D.C. is in the works.

"We need everyone who cares about Southwest Louisiana, and the people who live here, to add your voice as we plea to the White House and Congress to provide federal disaster relief to the only region in the country to experience five federally declared disasters over the past 15 months," according to their petition.

Homes and businesses throughout the Lake Charles and the surrounding communities remain in various states of devastation, they say, and some still untouched since August 27, 2020, when Hurricane Laura tore through the region.

According to Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter, government aid has come in, but not enough to spread evenly.

"Government has received some money, but we're asking for the same response. The same equitable response that happened in the wake of dozens of other singular natural disasters. And here we sit in Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana having endured four," said Hunter in KATC's recent report on Lake Charles educators.

But everyone in this region, affirmed SWLA, is awaiting for the government to respond immediately.

"There are a lot of strings attached to those dollars," said Hunter. "When we get reimbursed from FEMA dollars, even the figure of $16 million, which is a drop in the bucket by the way, we can't just take that money and say okay we're going to go put roofs on peoples houses."

According to SWLA Economic Development Alliance, business is making a comeback, but can't meet full potential funding so the workforce can return to the region, and ultimately, have housing.

It's historic and unprecedented, and the need is urgent, SWLA says.

For more information about Rebuilding SWLA, click here.

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