On March 1, Americans Helping Americans® learned that the small town of Beattyville, Kentucky, and the surrounding Lee County where our partner Cumberland Mountain Outreach serves those most in need, suffered an historic and devastating flood.
Thanks to our supporters, we were able to immediately provide relief to residents whose homes had been severely damaged, in some cases to the point where they were no longer inhabitable.
Among them was Henry and Shante who last fall needed a place to live with their four young daughters, aged 10 to 2.
A family member of Shante’s offered to allow them to live in what was described as “an old abandoned house” at no charge, asking them only to make needed repairs.
The family was already struggling after Shante lost her job as a waitress in town due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and then the flooding happened filling up the home’s basement with water.
“The rain came through the roof, pouring into the main floor (which itself has holes in it), reported CMO CEO and President Cindy Evanoff. “The floodwaters washed their water heater downstream.”
The family had hoped to get relief from the government, but “Because the flood waters technically didn’t reach the main floor of the house, federal aid wasn’t immediately provided due to the technicality.”
With nowhere else to turn, the family reached out to Cindy seeking assistance, who in turn reached out to a local contractor for help.
After seeing the house, the contractor, Bobby, told Cindy that of course, he would help.
“I can’t sleep at night, just thinking of the little girls living in such a dangerous place, with gaping holes in the floors and all their belongings damaged with mold because of the ice and water storms.
“I kept thinking, if this was my child, what would I do?”
And his response to himself, “All that I can!”
So he decided to take upon himself the costs of purchasing the reinforcement beams, dry wall, flooring, a new roof, and for all the labor for his 12-man team, as well as paying for the family to stay in a motel in town, along with all the food they need, “for as long as it takes to make this house safe.”
Cindy put Bobby in touch with Americans Helping Americans® who reached out to us with a request for funding for the cost of R16 insulation, cement, and cinderblock, which thanks to our supporters, we were able to immediately provide.
Americans Helping Americans® Executive Director Cameron Krizek noted that CMO does not normally have the capacity to repair homes, “but contractor Bobby and his team have made it possible to fix up this home in collaboration with CMO and funding from Americans Helping Americans®.”
Hear Shante speak about her troubles, and the fabulous work of the volunteer home repairs, in the local news coverage from Lex18