Flood counseling service abruptly shuttered
DENHAM SPRINGS - Families seeking someone to talk to as they deal with the stress of rebuilding flood-damaged properties can't turn to a state program aimed at helping them cope.
The Louisiana Spirit Program abruptly shut down this week, though organizers argue it will return once there is funding. The state needs $15 million from FEMA to continue the program, which had as many as 20,000 people using its service.
"We were counting on the federal funds to continue and we are we're still hoping that they will come in, but we just can't afford to continue doing this program with out those federal funds," Michelle Alletto with the La. Department of Health said in an interview Friday.
In addition to the assistance it was providing to flood victims, the program employed 170 people. Those workers are out of a job now unless more money comes in.
"Everybody I come in contact with is just about to lose their mind," said Gerard Verrett as he worked to repair his flooded home when he spoke with WBRZ Friday, too.
Verrett said it was a surprise to learn money was not available to continue the program this week but FEMA said it did not suspend the program. As of this post, it is in unclear why there is some money confusion.
In the meantime, people can contact the Capital Area Human Services center for help. Call (225) 925-1906 or click HERE.