Rebuild NC grants helping restore Robeson County homes damaged by Hurricane Matthew

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— It’s been nearly two-and-a-half years since Hurricane Matthew carved its way through North Carolina, and there are homeowners who are still trying to get back on their feet from that storm.

Some residents are getting a hand up with grant money from Rebuild North Carolina, which aims to restore life into the homeowners property.

One of those people is Priscilla Jones, who now takes pride while walking into her new home in Robeson County.

Pictures of her old home show how Hurricane Matthew destroyed the roof, allowing water into the property that led to the growth of mold.

“And it was very visible so me and my granddaughter and my grandson had to live here like that because we didn’t have anywhere else to go,” Jones said.

She applied for grant money from Rebuild North Carolina, which dispatched experts who came in and quickly realized the mold was so bad her home had to be pulled out and replaced.

“I never thought that there would be a program that would give me a brand new home,” Jones says.

County leaders are encouraging Hurricane Matthew victims who didn’t get the help they needed during that storm to apply. The Rebuild North Carolina Disaster Relieve Center is located at 405 Dunn Street in Lumberton.

“It’s not based on income,” said Emily Jones, a county spokeswoman. “It’s really based on how you were impacted.”

Jeffrey and Joanne McMillian used Rebuild NC grant money after they suffered flood damage from hurricanes Matthew and Florence.

“We had to go through and put all new installation (in) twice (for) duct work,” said Jeffrey McMillian, a Robeson County homeowner.

Jones says she counts her blessings every day, saying the money from Rebuild North Carolina has given her family a new home and she thanks God for her new start.

“He made a way,” she said. “He gave me a second chance, and by him giving me a second chance, I’m going to make sure I take care of it.”