Rock Rapids, Iowa — Northwest Iowa flood victims are being helped by several different agencies and programs. One of those is Justice For All — the organization in charge of the Lyon County Disaster Relief Fund.
We had a chance to talk to Joe Vander Zee with Justice For All recently, and asked him about the progress of the fundraising and flood recovery effort.
He says if you’re making a donation, those can be dropped off or sent to any of the Lyon County banks, and checks should be made payable to JFA-Lyon County Disaster Relief Fund.
Vander Zee says they are also still taking applications from victims, especially since people may have been too modest or proud to accept help before, but now are maybe thinking they could sure use some help.
Vander Zee says they really appreciate the donations that people have given. He says that about a third of the money they have received so far has come in the form of a donation from the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation — the nonprofit arm that distributes a portion of the gaming take from the Grand Falls Casino.
Again, that Rock Rapids Flood Information Meeting is Thursday, July 24 7:00 PM at the Forster Community Center in Rock Rapids. The public is encouraged to attend.
Also, the Small Business Administration is encouraging flood victims to see if they are eligible for low-interest loans. SBA assistance is available in the primary Iowa counties of Lyon and Sioux and the neighboring Iowa counties of Cherokee, O’Brien, Osceola and Plymouth; the neighboring Minnesota counties of Nobles and Rock; and the neighboring South Dakota counties of Lincoln, Minnehaha and Union.
Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations whose property was damaged or destroyed by this disaster. SBA representatives are on hand for a limited time at Disaster Loan Outreach Centers in Rock Valley and Rock Rapids to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each individual complete their application. No appointment is necessary. The Rock Rapids office is at 114 First Avenue, in the Waagmeester building, and the Rock Valley office is at the Faith Reformed Church at 1305 Seventh Street.
Grants of up to $5,000 are available through the Iowa Individual Assistance program. Contact Mid-Sioux or Upper Des Moines Opportunity for more information. The Northwest Iowa Regional Housing Trust Fund is providing grants of up to $7,500 and low-interest loans of up to $15,000. Contact Sherry Zinn for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 712-262-7225 ext 139. And grants and low-interest loans for individual housing assistance are available through USDA Rural Development. Contact Desirae Willms at 712-546-5149 Extension 4 or at email@example.com.
Unlike the Justice For All grants, some of the other programs are income-based and some are age-based, so victims need to contact the agencies for more information.