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Valdosta neighbors are still in need after Hurricane Idalia, they continue to seek financial and mental aid

The Mental Wealth Center has been working to help the community, especially after several crises.
Posted at 6:06 PM, Feb 02, 2024
  • The Mental Wealth Center offers financial and mental services to Valdostans in need.
  • The city is still reeling 156 days after Hurricane Idalia struck and losing some social service resources.
  • Watch the video to hear from neighbors about how they're still dealing with the aftermath.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT

Valdosta has gone through several crises in the last few months; a group of our neighbors is here to help.

I’m Malia Thomas, your neighborhood reporter in Valdosta.

Our city has seen some hard times like Hurricane Idalia and the closure of our original soup kitchen.

"It's just really hard out here; we need this."

I’m speaking with some of our neighbors about how a group has been helping them pick up the pieces.

Angelica Valencia is a new neighbor who ended up in Valdosta around the time of Hurricane Idalia.

Despite not having to deal with much damage at her residence, she tells me she's still dealing with the aftershocks financially.

"When I moved down here, just me being a single mom, it doesn't help."

The rising cost of groceries, the gas tax suspension ending, and her wages being stagnant left her feeling anxious.

"Food, transportation... everything is financial. Everything is about money. Inflation is so high now that every area hurts."

When I told her about community resources pitching in to help our neighbors the last few months, she was happy to hear about our neighbors pitching in, but she tells me she hates it has to come to that.

"It's not fair that we have to take care of each other with the little that we have ,and there's our government that doesn't help with the funding to help us."

The resource I'm talking about is our Mental Wealth Center.

"People don't understand how much mental health goes into pretty much everything we do."

Tax preparer JaTaryia Thomas and counselor Dr. Demetria Hill Cannady is helping the community with financial and mental health services for years.

Being just 5 months away from Idalia has been keeping them busy.

"It's not enough food pantries it's not enough services we don't have enough resources down here. Right we are not Atlanta you know we are not you know some of the bigger cities and we but we we do have just as many people with those problems."

Still, they're dedicated to helping everyone get back on their feet, especially with the tax season here and the lack of cuts for people who suffered damage from Idalia.

Their advocacy keeps neighbors like Angie hopeful.

"We take care of each other. We're united, we're one."

If you need mental health or financial assistance resources, check out your screen. I'm Malia Thomas, reporting for ABC27.