New disaster recovery project begins in Richlands

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 7:02 PM EDT
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RICHLANDS, N.C. (WITN) - Onslow Strong Disaster Recovery Alliance began work on the first home in a new reconstruction project Thursday.

The alliance is comprised of several community outreach organizations designed to provide aid to the elderly and low income members of the community in need.

The organization was started in an effort to provide relief to Onslow County after Hurricane Florence, and it has since assisted in reconstruction efforts of over 1,000 homes.

The first home on the most recent project belongs to longtime Richlands resident Beatrice Mills, whose childhood home was built in the 1970s and suffered damage from Hurricane Florence, causing it to be torn down.

Mills says she could not afford to make the necessary renovations to the home due to low income.

Mills received assistance from her neighbor in reaching out to the Recovery Alliance to receive financial assistance with reconstruction.

When asked why she helped Mills, neighbor Susie Southerland recalled an earlier moment in time where Mills helped her:

“We had nowhere to go. Fortunately, my neighbor Beatrice, I spoke with her and she let us utilize her home... She opened up her home to us. I was so appreciative of that. I’m so excited she gets to come back into the neighborhood that she grew up in as well as I.”

Susie Southerland

Onslow Strong Disaster Recovery Alliance has 186 homes expected to be reconstructed with this project.

The alliance partnered with the Onslow County United Way branch, ReBuild NC, and several other organizations on the reconstruction project, and has pledged to give $20,000 to residents in the Town Center Apartments to help cover relocation expenses.

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