Latoi Jones

 

Orrum, NC The day that Hurricane Matthew hit the small town of Orrum, Latoi Jones’ son turned six years old. A quick trip to buy a birthday cake almost stranded her at the grocery store. “I drove there without a problem,” she says. “But 10 minutes later, the parking lot was flooded.” Jones found one passable road back to her sister’s apartment, where her family was staying until the storm was over.

Three days later, Jones brought her four children back to their mobile home, where she found vinyl siding and roof shingles in the yard. Many of the children’s toys, including the trampoline, had blown into the trees. “Plus, a window had burst, and the AC unit got pushed in by the wind,” she says. “There was a lot of water damage.”

Soon after, the stagnant water in the walls began to smell. “Two of my children have asthma,” Jones says. “It was not safe for them to be breathing that air.” She started looking for financial assistance to make repairs. “I’d seen notices for ReBuild NC,” she says. “So I knew to call the program.” 

Jones applied and was approved. A contractor assigned to her project by ReBuild NC demolished her old mobile home and brought in a new one.

“Having a beautiful new place is the best feeling in the world,” she says. “My favorite part is the kitchen. I’ve cooked every day since we moved in.”

For Jones, reaching out to ReBuild NC was life-changing. “I tell everyone to apply,” she says. “If I hadn’t done it myself, I wouldn’t be in the home I am in now.”