Distributing donations on hold
Much money was donated to help victims of a July 8 tornado but citizens who need it haven't gotten it yet as officials want to make sure the money is distributed fairly.
Pastor Steve Tangen, chairmann of the recently established Stark County Unmet Needs Committee, said funds are available for those who have exhausted other forms of assistance, including insurance, Federal Emergency Management and Small Business Administration disaster loans.
Tangen said organizers of a "Band-aid" relief benefit July 19 have placed donations in a non-profit account until it is determined whether or not other entities may match the donations. Then the money will be transferred to United Way and added to other donations to hold until the committee can distribute it.
Tangen declined to say how much money will be given to those in need. He also wouldn't say which organizations may be matching funds.
A Resources Agencies Flood Team form must be filled out and returned to RAFT by Monday, Aug. 17 for those interested in financial assistance.
"We're comprised of 13 different faith-based and community-based agencies," said Valerie Reinhiller, western North Dakota case manager supervisor with RAFT. "We're there to assist in the unmet needs area and doing the case management."
Reinhiller said applications go to Bismarck, and volunteers take over.
"Once a person receives the client, they will contact them and visit with them and find out what their unmet needs are," Reinhiller said.
The identities of those applying are kept confidential. Applicants are rated on a point system on a variety of factors, such as low income, disabilities, single parents, family income and others, Tangen said.
"I say to all folks, whether or not they believe they have unmet needs to apply so we can consider you," Tangen said.
Cynthia Cowell, communications specialist with the Small Business Administration said things are slowing down at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center at the Prairie Hills Mall.
"Just about everyone has applied that is aware of the program," Cowell said. "These are not regular SBA loans where you go to a bank and SBA underwrites the loans. The disaster loans come directly from the U.S. Treasury."
Cowell said she believes the SBA has approved 24 loans.
The center is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Aug. 10, when the application period ends.
Tangen believes funds may be distributed in late fall.
"We've received a substantial amount of money and people have been very generous," Tangen said. "We continue to receive funds and are committed to make sure those funds are distributed to those affected by the storm."
Call Tangen for information on the help available at 701-225-6747.
Resources Agencies Flood Team forms are available at the Prairie Hills Mall, Stark County Social Services, Dickinson City Hall and Community Action as well as online at www.starkcountynd.com.
For help filling out a form,
RAFT representatives will be at the West River Community Center from Friday through Aug. 10.
- Friday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Sunday, Aug. 9 from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Monday, Aug. 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.