VICKSBURG, Miss., June 13, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Janice Dillard, 60, couldn't have visitors to her Vicksburg, Mississippi, home. Every time someone went to the front door, the front porch collapsed, and they fell through to the ground.
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"My house had some bad problems. I was afraid someone would get hurt on the porch and sue me," said Ms. Dillard. "Also, my sink didn't work. I called a plumber to fix it, but he took my money and only made it worse. I had to wash the dishes outside in a dish pan."
One day, at the end of her shift as a cook at a local nursing facility, Ms. Dillard met Gloria Jones, vice president and community development coordinator with Trustmark National Bank (Trustmark) in Jackson, Mississippi.
"Ms. Dillard and I started talking about our work history," said Ms. Jones. "Then she told me about the unsafe condition of her home. I immediately asked her a few questions, and then told her about a program that we offer that could help her."
Trustmark utilizes grants from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP) which provides grants to assist income-qualified, special needs homeowners with necessary home repairs and modifications.
"We exchanged phone numbers, and started the application process, through our partnership with the city of Vicksburg," Ms. Jones said.
Trustmark, which partners with the city of Vicksburg to disburse the SNAP grants, worked with Leona Barnes-Stringer, the city's housing coordinator, to submit Ms. Dillard's SNAP grant application, and Ms. Dillard qualified for a $5,000 grant.
"Ms. Dillard's front porch was a hazardous situation, and needed to be repaired immediately," said Ms. Stringer. "Thanks to the SNAP grant, the front porch was replaced. She and her visitors can now safely use the front entrance to her home. Also, she no longer washes dishes outside, as her new kitchen sink works perfectly."
Ms. Dillard is so grateful for the repairs to her house.
"I thank God for the help," said Ms. Dillard. "It sounds funny, but I am so proud of my new kitchen sink. And I can't tell you how happy I am about the new front porch. Now I can have people visit, and I won't worry about the condition of my home."
Trustmark has participated in SNAP since the program was launched in 2009. In 2014, FHLB Dallas has issued $39,770 in SNAP grants through Trustmark to assist nine families.
"We are thankful for the collaborative effort put forth to rehab Ms. Dillard's home, as she did not have the funds to pay for the repairs herself," said Ms. Jones.
Ms. Stringer, who has been with the city of Vicksburg for more than 38 years, said that the city has received funds for many years from FHLB Dallas, through its member financial institutions. She said the SNAP grant program is appreciated by the city and its residents.
"The SNAP grant program improves every community it serves, and touches the heart of every family by providing residents safety, comfort, and security," said Ms. Stringer. "Home is a heart matter."
Since SNAP's inception, more than $7.3 million in grants have been awarded through FHLB Dallas member institutions to assist 1,464 families throughout FHLB Dallas' five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas.
FHLB Dallas recently announced it would make available to members another $850,000 in SNAP funds beginning July 1, bringing the total allocation for the year to $1.85 million. To learn more about SNAP and other FHLB Dallas programs, visit fhlb.com.
About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 12 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $30.6 billion as of March 31, 2014, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 900 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. For more information, visit the FHLB Dallas website at fhlb.com.
The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.
CONTACT: Corporate Communications Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas www.fhlb.com (214) 441-8445
Source:Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas