NewsLocal NewsIn Your ParishSt. Martin Parish


Disaster Loan Outreach Center comes to Cecilia

Posted at 5:13 PM, Jun 21, 2024

ST. MARTIN PARISH — The Cecilia Civic Center will soon be used as a Disaster Loan Outreach Center for those affected by a tornado on May 13.

I spoke with one Henderson woman who’s had to cover all of her recovery expenses for her home.

”They tearing it down today,” Robin said as crews worked on tearing down the last of her home.

And just like that, 21 years of Jessie Robin and her husband's home is gone.

"We purchased another small home to replace it with no help whatsoever,” Robin said.

“It's just sad but happy at the same time."

Crews clear out Robin's lot to make room for her new home to be placed there.

Robin said her home’s damage was too minimal for the Red Cross and other emergency agencies she reached out to.

"We were denied,” Robin said. “They said we had minimal damage. As you can see, this is not minimal damage. It's destroyed.”

But being on her property, you might think otherwise.

"My addition separated, it pulled my roof off,” Robin said. “My big giant Oak Tree in the backyard was in my living room. It had standing water in it."

And with the water coming through her home came mold. robin was able to salvage some items.

"You're renting a storage unit, you just bought a house, and I'm sure you have to pay for all of this damage?” I asked Robin.

“Right,” Robin answered.

Robin has so far hit nearly $15,000 in clean-up and the fee of moving her new home onto her property.

And that doesn't account for other expenses and the price of her new home.

"We don't know how much the dirt is gonna be, how much the slabs are gonna be and how much it's gonna cost to hook everything up to the little house,” Robin said.

During this time she and her husband have been staying with a friend.

"It's heartbreaking,”Robin said. “Cause right now we're homeless. We're staying in my best friend's outdoor kitchen. That's a one-room, little building. At least we have a roof over our head, nothing else.”

A temporary Disaster Loan Outreach Center, through the federal Small Business Administration, will be at the Cecilia Civic Center for a month.

SBA will be providing loans for businesses and individuals who apply throughout Acadiana parishes.

This is Robin's last hope.

"Right now I mean putting ourselves in debt whenever it was already paid off with absolutely no help out there, hopefully, they can give us a small loan for us to be able to pay for the demolition,” Robin said.

“The dirt pad, the moving of the house. Don't know where to go from here.”

For more information on the Disaster Loan Outreach Center, click the link.