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Friday, December 2, 2022

DeSantis announces nearly $30 million in funding for Marion County residents impacted by severe weather

Governor Ron DeSantis announced that nearly $30 million in funding and resources will be made available to residents who were impacted by the recent severe weather in Marion County.

These funds, which will be made available in partnership with local Community Action Agencies, will assist income-qualified individuals, including the families and individuals in Marion County along with other counties in central and northeast Florida that were recently impacted by severe weather.

Governor Ron DeSantis said, “When a disaster strikes, both local and state agencies have roles in getting our communities back on their feet. My administration will continue to work with state agencies so that those impacted by disasters can access the resources they need to recover.”

On Friday, DeSantis visited Ocala to survey the damages that were caused by an EF-1 tornado on March 12.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity disperses available funding for the Community Services Block Grant and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program to local Community Action Agencies. The department is working with these agencies in Marion County, as well as in Clay, Putnam, and Highlands Counties, to provide assistance to help impacted individuals and families meet their immediate needs.

There is just over $4 million in Community Services Block Grant funding available to assist eligible income-qualified households in Marion, Clay, Putnam, and Highlands Counties with attaining the skills, knowledge, and motivation necessary to achieve self-sufficiency. Services may include the following:

  • Emergency health.
  • Food.
  • Housing.
  • Removal of debris.
  • Electrical wiring or gas line repairs.
  • Personal documentation (driver’s license, identification card, etc.).
  • Medical supplies.
  • Day care.
  • Transportation assistance.
  • Housing counseling.
  • Financial management assistance.
  • Nutrition programs.
  • Community gardening projects.
  • Food banks.
  • Job counseling.
  • Placement and training services.
  • Homeless prevention programs.

Over $25.5 million in Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program funding is also available to assist income-qualified households in Marion, Clay, Putnam, and Highlands Counties with home heating and cooling costs. Services may include the following:

  • Home heating and cooling costs.
  • Utility relocation setup and deposit.
  • Disaster-related temporary housing.
  • HVAC replacement.
  • Generator purchase.
  • Electrical power cable connection.

For any Marion County residents who feel that they may be eligible, contact the Central Florida Community Action Agency (411 North Main Street, Suite 210 in Gainesville) at 352-373-7667.

Residents of Clay and Putnam County can contact the Northeast Florida Community Action Agency (4070 Boulevard Center Drive, 4500 Building, Suite 200 in Jacksonville) at 904-398-7472.

Residents of Highlands County can contact the Agricultural and Labor Program (300 Lynchburg Road in Lake Alfred, FL) at: 863-956-3491.

For more information on the Community Services Block Grant Program or the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, click on the respective program’s link.