Dillon County Long Term Recovery Group
Community Facility Loan
Kenneth Smith will never forget the havoc Hurricane Matthew wreaked on Dillon, South Carolina when it hit the county in 2016.
“My mother had to move into her church for ten months because of how severe the flooding was,” he said. “The drainage in the area was horrible and the water inside her home was coming all the way up to her legs.”
After the storm, emergency support groups like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offered the country recovery aid. Kenneth believes the organization’s efforts mostly focused on temporary relief and not long-term recovery.
“A disaster isn’t just a storm,” he said. “A disaster [recovery] also includes getting the people in the community back on their feet after a life altering event.”
He started Dillon County Long Term Recovery Group to help people in the county recover from their disaster-related unmet needs. Two years after the organization formed, another tropical storm hit the area.
“It seems like right as people were getting on their feet another storm hit,” he said. “There are still people today that are living in dilapidated homes due to what happened during the storms. I want to be an advocate for them and help them return to safe, secure, and sanitary housing.”
Dillon County Long Term Recovery Group provides resources and support to the community through a variety of services. The organization often receives large quantities of supplies, like foods, toys, and furniture, for distributing out to members of the community.
Kenneth plans to continue expanding the organization’s capacity to serve the community. With the expansion, Dillon County Long Term Recovery Group needs a safer and secure location to store their supplies.
“The building I was using was becoming more of a headache than a help,” he said. “I wasn’t allowed to have a key to get into the building and I had to call anytime I needed to get in. I started looking for other options and there were not many people who would help me. That’s why I am glad I found you all.”
Dillon County Long Term Recovery Group’s community facilities loan with South Carolina Community Loan Fund financed a warehouse space that will allow him to have a secure location to store inventory. It will also allow the organization to add employees.
“This loan will help us to continue to grow and provide a service to the people of Dillion county,” he said. “I’ll be able to have a secure location which allows me to continue building a legacy around service in the area.”