Local News

Edgecombe County Residents Receive Relief Checks

Posted October 13, 1999

— The first $6 million from the Governor's Hurricane Relief Fund was handed out in Edgecombe County Thursday, but not everyone will walk away with a check.

The line outside the Edgecombe County social services office was so long Thursday morning, police had to direct traffic.

Debra Bennett arrived early, at 5:30 a.m., with a chair in hand. She left with checks totaling $700.

"It's going to help some," she said. "Every little bit helps. But we still have a long way to go."

Gertrude Holmes also had a long way to go in line, with hundreds of others in front of her.

"I need a little help too because I lost everything, and I ain't got nothing. I didn't have nothing but debt. My house, that's all I had," said Holmes.

Edgecombe County officials handed out checks on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Officials divided needs into five categories:

  • $100 for food
  • $200 for prescriptions
  • $500 for rent or mortgages
  • $300 for utility payments
  • $300 in cash assistance.$700 is the maximum payment per household, but officials know everyone will not be served with those payments.

    "We also understand that there will be more monies on the way, so those individuals who receive money this time will not be eligible the next time," said Hobert Freeman, director of Edgecombe County social services.

    Holmes says even if she does not get a check this time, she does not mind waiting.

    "Look, I had and I lost," she said. "Can't lose no more right?"

    Edgecombe County officials are hoping they can help about 2,000 families with this round of funding.

    Nash County on the other hand is handing out $75 checks to everyone. Officials there say they want to give everyone something, no matter how small the size.

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