Army Veteran and son living out of truck while waiting on FEMA assistance

The vet and his son were displaced after Hurricane Irma.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The night Hurricane Irma hit Jacksonville, local veteran Mark Hancock and his son had to evaucate their home near the river.

"We grabbed what we could and then we left," Mark Hancock said.

They were renting a house on Riverview Street property when three feet of water from the nearby Ribault River flooded their home.

"The house is not livable," he said.

They did not have rental insurance and they lost everything.

"All we need is a little bit of assistance," said Hancock's son.
     
Almost immediately after the storm, they applied to FEMA for assistance. It has been a two-month wait, forcing them live out of their Dodge Dakota Sport pickup.

"We will be in the truck until," he said.

Mark Hancock, 76, is a Vietman veteran. He receives a small amount of social security, but he is still frustrated by the process.

"We have been in the truck two months," he said. "Off and on for two months."

Hancock said he served with the 101st Calvary whose motto is "to the utmost."  His utmost frustration these days is not with his service, but with with the government he served.

"Every time we call them we get a different story," he said. "One day you've been approved, the next two or three days you have not been approved. Somebody doesn't know what's going on."

According to their documents, the need for assistance has been verified by a FEMA inspector.  

"I need them to help us with assistance that's what we need," Hancock said. "Just to get us back on our feet."

On Your Side contacted FEMA. Spokesperson Gerard Hammink said FEMA records show a check was issued Tuesday for rental assistance.

He said it will be delivered to the address on record instead of direct deposit since they did not provide a bank account.

Hammink said anyone who applied for FEMA assistance, if they were found eligible, they can use one of the hotels on FEMA's transitional sheltering assistance list and FEMA pays the bill.
 

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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