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Local nonprofit groups assisting flood victims

Volunteers with the God Inspired Gathering (GiG) and Victory Outreach clean up debris from the late May floods that hit the home of Jeanette Schaffer, who lives in the Orchard Park area south of Roswell. Schaffer said her property west of U.S. 285 was at the “epicenter” of the flooding, and damages include the loss of all her exterior fencing that went around the perimeter of 10 acres, as well as the drowning of many of her goats, sheep and other animals. Her propane tank, pond and septic tank also were damaged. She says she has been told she is not eligible for financial assistance. Victory Outreach Pastor Pat Laney and Beau Perez of GiG say their groups probably will work for a month to assist flood and storm victims. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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Individuals and families experiencing hardships due to the late May rainstorms and flooding can get assistance from local nonprofits and relief agencies.

Although the state has made up to $750,000 available to Chaves County under a disaster declaration issued Wednesday and the Roswell City Council voted to submit a disaster declaration of its own, a state official said the public funding cannot go to individuals.

“In this instance, the state constitution does not allow state funds to be used for direct assistance to private individuals,” said Brian Sayler, public information officer for the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Some nonprofit agencies that are working to help local residents are listed here.

The American Red Cross of New Mexico, 1-800-842-7349. An area Red Cross volunteer will assess damages to the interiors of homes and living spaces to determine if the damages meet the required threshold to provide financial assistance. Damages to yards, fencing or buildings that are not used as living areas will not be considered, and the costs of cleanups are not covered.

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Roswell Community Disaster Relief Services, 575-208-4055. This local nonprofit has been assisting with property cleanups, pumping water from homes, providing drinking water to people with flooded wells and septic tanks, and other services. The number of people able to be assisted depends on volunteers and other factors.

The Roswell office of the Salvation Army, 575-622-8700. The nonprofit can provide food assistance to those in crises, including adding flood victims to a hot meal delivery program if needed. Vouchers for its thrift store are available upon a referral from the Red Cross. The organization also will cover a one-night stay at a local economy hotel if people must leave their home while water dries.

The God Inspired Gathering and Victory Outreach, 575-208-1467. These groups intend to organize regular cleanups, with priority given to senior citizens and people diagnosed with disabilities. The number of people they can serve will depend on how many volunteers are available. Updates will be provided on www.facebook.com/TheGIGRoswell/.

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