Chesapeake City Council allocates $200K to help victims of Hurricane Matthew

Posted at 4:25 PM, Nov 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-01 22:42:36-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Chesapeake City Council held a special meeting Tuesday to vote to allocate $200,000 to help homes destroyed or heavily damaged during Hurricane Matthew.

The purpose of the meeting was to adopt a proposed Hurricane Matthew Assistance Program, to provide assistance to residents whose properties have been declared destroyed or majorly damaged by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management Individual Assistance Damage Assessment Level Guidelines.

"We want to make sure we're taking care of them the best we can and being good stewards to the tax payers money at the same time," says Bob Geis, deputy city manager.

A city spokeswoman tells News 3, there are approximately 59 properties that will benefit from this program.

Nine of those homes are on John Street, which saw major devastation after the storm.

Leah Luzunaris tells News 3, she is one of two families on the street that has not relocated, which is the result of putting in at least $12,000 of work to her first floor.

"It's no cheap feat and I'm depleting my savings because of it," she says. "Today was the first day we could actually sit at a table and eat."

City council voted to donate the charitable contribution of $200,000 to the nonprofit, charitable organization ForKids, Inc.

"I hope there`s going to be a light for everybody and that we can help them through that," says Thaler McCormick, Chief Executive Offier of ForKids.

However, the $200,000 will not go very far.

The plan shows that the maximum contribution per residence will be $2,000, which may be used for temporary or new permanent housing costs, moving expenses, removal of damaged property and debris, and expenses for clothing, personal items and food.

Luzunaris says she will be very grateful if she gets anything from the city. However, she is worried if that is their only chance for help.

"There's still many more things to do and fix," says Luzunaris. "Is this just OK, here you go, sorry this happened to you?"

The city did not speak about plans past today's announcement.

McCormick tells News 3 they plan to work with every family to determine their needs.