Helping a Family find a New Home after Disaster Strikes

[Nikel Bailey - HUD Disaster Team, Lisa (disaster survivor) and Anthony Landecker - HUD Disaster Team (left to right)]
Nikel Bailey - HUD Disaster Team, Lisa (disaster survivor) and Anthony Landecker - HUD Disaster Team (left to right)

Lisa Mcauley, a mother of 6, evacuated her rental home, in the middle of the night, as Hurricane Matthew's rain intensified with her children by her side. In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew hit North Carolina and caused several deaths and floodwaters to continue to rise along with rivers overflowing into the streets of communities like Lumberton, Goldsboro and Kinston.

Never witnessing a natural disaster of this sort, Lisa was terrified and concerned about her children's safety. Her apartment was completely damaged and not expected to be fully repaired soon enough to move back in. Due to overcrowding restrictions in the hotel, she had to separate her kids and allow some of them to stay with friends and family. Thankful for the temporary shelter at the hotel, paid by FEMA's Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) program, Lisa was still eager to find new permanent housing to reunite her family.

"He gave me hope," Lisa said in reference to Anthony Landecker, HUD's Disaster Recovery TSA Outreach Team Lead. The TSA Outreach Team called Lisa, as well as, other displaced residents effected by the hurricane, and offered assistance and guidance in finding new housing. When Landecker reached out to Lisa, she felt his sincerity in helping by sharing with her information pertaining to vacant units in the Fayetteville area and walking her through the process daily in applying for the apartment.

Every day, Nikel Bailey, member of the HUD TSA Outreach Team, called properties to identify vacant units for displaced residents. She was able to find openings at Rose Hill Garden in Fayetteville which fit Lisa's needs.

"Without you all, I would not have known which direction to go...I'm not sure if we would have a home by Christmas," Lisa said when meeting Anthony and Nikel in person to share the good news about her move-in date. Lisa was filled with joy once her rental application was approved for Rose Hill Gardens. Finally, after months of being apart, her children will be all together in one home again.

Prior to Hurricane Matthew, Lisa was studying Criminal Justice and she is in the process now of transferring her credits to Fayetteville Community College to begin studying Forensic Science.

HUD's Disaster Recovery TSA Outreach Team was glad to see first-hand how their efforts helped another family secure housing just in time for the holidays and new year.


Content Archived: January 10, 2019