Brunswick woman says mandatory evacuations put residents in debt

Jason Rantala reports. 10/13/2016

BRUNSWICK, Ga.—A Brunswick area woman says her housing authority needs to lend a helping hand to those who evacuated during Hurricane Matthew.

Home health care nurse Joyce Walker says mandatory evacuations out of Glynn County meant residents, like those at Hopkins Homes, had to use what little rent money they had not for rent, but to pay for evacuating.

It meant residents had a tough choice: Stay and pay rent or head to safety.

"Where's the humanity? Some people have to feed their kids. They still haven't paid rent," said Walker.

Walker says her two utilities are understanding, giving residents two extra months to pay their bills.

In contrast, she says the Brunswick Housing Authority issued her a $50 late fee.

"Georgia Power is working with anyone, the Brunswick water department is working with everyone for paying the fee for this month, but Brunswick Housing Authority is the only one that is assessing a late fee for those that evacuated," says Walker.

Walker says she's explored all options to no avail.

First Coast News reached out to Brunswick Housing Authority multiple times Thursday, but did not hear back.

"As far as I know, the places that I've been in Glynn County, they have no financial assistance, for those that are affected as far as rent wise, so what are they supposed to do?" Walker says.

Walker says she speaks for those less fortunate than her who will get into deeper and deeper holes by paying late fines, all because they had to evacuate.

"Just help them, show a little humanity. That's all," says Walker.


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