Frezelle Herring

Rowland, NC — For 63 years, Frezelle Herring lived in the same house. It took Hurricane Matthew to force her out. It took ReBuild NC to bring her back home.

Herring was in her bedroom while Matthew passed over. One tree crashed on the kitchen’s roof; a second, on the bedroom’s. Both left extensive damage. With nowhere else to live after the storm, Herring stayed put, even though Red Cross advised her to leave: water kept coming in, causing mold and mildew.

“I couldn’t breathe. I was going to the doctor. I got an oxygen machine,” says Herring, who was eventually admitted to the hospital in intensive care. Still, for more than two years, she could not get approved for funding from any agencies or organizations for repairs.

Finally, a friend told her to get in touch with ReBuild NC. She submitted her application in January 2019.

Herring’s house had suffered more damage than reconstruction could fix. The contractor assigned through ReBuild NC demolished it and built a new one on the same spot. “He always approached me with a hug,” she says. “That made me feel good. Somebody is understanding what I’m going through.” Just seven months after applying to ReBuild NC, Herring walked into her new home. “July the twenty-third, I’ll never forget it,” Herring says. “That’s the day I got the key to my new house.”

About ReBuild NC, Herring says, “They are very helpful. You only had to deal with one case manager who knew what was taking place. You didn’t have to repeat things.” ReBuild NC also covered Herring’s lodging costs for 90 days and connected her to organizations that replaced her appliances and other household goods that were destroyed.

Today, Herring entertains neighbors on her new front porch, built to better-withstand what nature throws her way. “As high as my house is now, if there’s going to be a flood, and water gets up that high, I’ll see Noah’s ark. I am happy to be back home.”

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