NATCHEZ, MS - This is a news release from Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
Johnny Hardin's blood pressure rose every time it rained. His leaky roof caused him significant stress and extra work. He had to use kitchen pots to capture the water leaking from his roof into his 1930s home in the historic district.
Mr. Hardin, a 60-year-old former shoe salesman currently living on disability, read a write-up in his local newspaper about a Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP) grant, and he went to city hall to apply. SNAP is offered by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) through its member institutions. The program provides grants to assist income-qualified, special-needs homeowners with necessary home repairs and modifications.
City of Natchez Community Development Director James Johnston has administered the grant program on behalf of two local banks and FHLB Dallas for several years. He said the city has helped 40 residents obtain SNAP funding.
"SNAP is a program that assists residents who may be on a fixed income or are disabled," Mr. Johnston said. "Most of these residents do not have extra funds for repairs and are resigned to living with the problems at their homes. We are so happy to be a part of this great program that benefits individuals and the community as a whole."
A $5,000 grant from Concordia Bank & Trust and FHLB Dallas paid for a new roof for Mr. Hardin's house. "The bank people were great – the good Lord blessed me with Mr. Laird, who sat down and talked with me about the process," Mr. Hardin said.
Glynn Laird, senior vice president at Concordia Bank & Trust, said it is part of the bank's mission to serve the local community, and SNAP grants have assisted the bank in reaching its most vulnerable citizens. In 2014, $55,680 in SNAP funding was awarded through Concordia Bank & Trust to assist 13 households.
"SNAP has made home repairs for many citizens in Natchez who could not make them with their own resources," he said. "We hope to continue to work with FHLB Dallas on this crucial program."
Mr. Hardin said if he hadn't received the grant, he would have had to repair the roof himself with the shingles he'd collected during a storm. "The new roof has killed that worry," he said.
Since SNAP's inception in 2009, nearly $9.2 million has been awarded in grants through FHLB Dallas member institutions to assist 1,846 families across FHLB Dallas' five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas.
"We know that this program makes a difference in the lives of many people across our District," said Greg Hettrick, vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas. "FHLB Dallas is pleased to be able to support our members and the residents in their communities."