House in a box photo

Finally Feeling at Home

“Jane” and her family’s home was flooded in March 2021

“Jane” was home with her family as flooding began in her community in March 2021. She and her family did what they could to elevate their belongings; however, they were forced to evacuate as waters continued to rise. Jane, her husband and their three children hiked the mountain behind their home to safety.

Three and a half feet of flood water entered the family’s home, damaging floods, insulation, walls, appliances and personal possessions. Flood waters damaged the home’s Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) unit as well.

Jane and her husband began restoring their home themselves as soon as they could, balancing flood recovery with the responsibilities of keeping their jobs and raising their children.

The couple invested roughly $15,000 in home repair. They replaced some flooring, hung drywall and remodeled rooms as they could. Unfortunately, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) denied Jane’s application for support as the family home was in Jane’s mother’s name.

The family opened their “House in a Box,” which helped them to finally feel at home

Jane connected with West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WVVOAD) for disaster case management. Catholic Charities approved the family’s case for funding and provided sheetrock and other supplies. The family received a “House in a Box” from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The “House in a Box” consisted of household goods, two twin beds with frames, one queen bed with frame, a couch, dressers and a table with chairs.

Through this collaboration, community partners were able to help Jane and her family finally feel at home again.

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