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Nichols set to distribute $360,000 in relief aid donations through two programs

The town has created two programs to distribute the donation money.

Nichols has around $360,884 dollars to use to help Hurricane Matthew victims rebuild.

The majority of that money was donated and the rest came from a grant.

Boarded windows and empty homes are still everywhere around Nichols, almost 8 months after Hurricane Matthew.

Polly Carmichael, who has lived in Nichols for 90 years, said it's empty without everyone back home.

"I'd love to see everybody get back in Nichols that once lived here," Carmichael said.

The town has created two programs to distribute the donation money.

The first program will allow the town to rebuild up to 10 homes chosen by the town's steering committee and Palmetto Disaster Recovery Case Managers.

"Owner Occupied Low Income Housing Grant Program with the intention to serve low income families with that...they're helping, they're serving the most vulnerable populations," Rita Pratte, an SBP Disaster Recovery Advisor, said.

The first three homes have been selected and non-profit organizations will do all the rebuilds to keep costs low.

"These are the people we need to get back now these are the most vulnerable citizens," Pratte said.

The second, which is not completely finalized yet, but was approved by the Steering Committee Tuesday, June 6, is an unmet needs program with a cap of about $3,000 a person.

"[The program will] allow them to spend up to $50,000 on unmet community needs," Pratte said. That money will go towards things like appliances, a bed or a bed frame.

Carmichael said she wants all her friends to come home.

"You miss a lot of people that been knowing her a long time. You miss them at church. You just miss them," Carmichael said.

The town plans to have the homes completed by the end of September.

To be eligible for both programs residents with unmet needs from the hurricane must register with a Palmetto Disaster Recovery Case Manager because the case managers present the cases to the steering committee.

To qualify for the Owner Occupied Low Income Housing Grant Program you must be below or 120 percent annual family median income per Marion County, own your own home and have a clear title, and be a U.S. citizen.

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