FEMA update: Barry met with a FEMA assessor at his flood-damaged apartment after FEMA added Orange to the list of North Carolina counties eligible for disaster-relief funds related to Hurricane Florence (which FEMA announced on Oct. 22). We hope that the agency will approve a reimbursement for his damaged furniture and property.
We will continue accepting donations for a few more days, but it is our pleasure to announce that Barry was accepted as a tenant at a Carrboro apartments community with a two-year lease.
He arrived home last night (November 10) for the first time. He was very grateful to be in a clean, safe and wheelchair-accessible home again, and had praising words for the people who have helped him through a great ordeal. Here's to all those of you who have donated and helped out in other ways!
(original Story post below:)
Barry Fearrington lost his apartment at Camelot Village when rains from Hurricane Florence swelled nearby Bolin Creek.
Although 57 units at Camelot Village were flooded on September 21, Barry's story is one that ought to provide inspiration and hope in the wake of a natural disaster.
In 2015, after more than a decade of living homeless outside in Chapel Hill in his motorized wheelchair, Barry reached out to his friends for help finding a residence off the streets.
Barry was a familiar face on Franklin Street and a friend to many in the Chapel Hill community, members of which helped him complete his rental applications and co-sign for an apartment at Camelot Village.
Barry moved into a single-unit apartment at Camelot Village. Using his own funds and federal disability benefits, Barry paid his rent reliably on-time and was a tenant in good standing. Members of the Chapel Hill community pitched in to provide furniture, utilities payments, and a wheelchair ramp for his front door.
Hurricane Florence began causing damage in North Carolina on September 13, 2018, and broke up into a tropical storm as it moved inland, bringing with it heavy rains.
After Hurricane Florence evacuation orders were rescinded, Barry returned to his apartment unit. A day later, heavy rains upstream flooded Bolin Creek on September 17, causing water to enter first-story units at Camelot Village. Emergency rescue workers came in a boat to rescue Barry from the waters that were rising into his apartment.
When it was all over, damage from the flood contaminated his apartment and ruined his possessions. Camelot Village has said that renovations to the apartment units may take months.
Barry is now homeless again and living in a hotel room, thanks in part to emergency funds from a local municipality. This situation cannot sustain.
Our goal is to get Barry home to a new address that is safe from future flooding.
Barry needs a new apartment and new things to replace possessions that were destroyed in the flood.
$3,000 would cover an apartment deposit, replacement furniture and food, and utilities payments for at least one year.
Because Orange County is not among the North Carolina counties eligible for FEMA emergency relief from Hurricane Florence, it has been difficult finding a source of funding for Barry's move into a new home.
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