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Tavares, Florida 32778


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For immediate release - Dec. 10, 2004

Committee sets requirements for relief fund distribution

TAVARES — The Florida Hurricane Relief Fund, established by Gov. Jeb Bush after the state was dealt four major hurricanes in six weeks, is beginning to pay dividends for Lake County citizens.

The Lake County Unmet Needs Committee convened last month and established parameters for distributing the $35,000 designated for hurricane victims in the County. The established criteria for hurricane fund distribution includes meeting unmet needs of elderly (60 years or older) and/or disabled County residents whose household income is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Two-person households with a monthly income of $2,082 or less may be eligible for assistance.

The committee decided targeted services for the relief fund would be repairs to mobile homes and removal of trees and debris from the immediate area around both mobile homes and conventional homes. Payments will be made to vendors directly, not to applicants. Any approved disbursement of the relief fund will be for planned work — not for repairs already completed.

Relief fund payments will be coordinated with other support agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Red Cross and others to prevent duplication of storm-damage payments. Payments will also not be used for expenses covered by insurance, but can help with deductibles.

Implementation of the program will operate in cooperation with the Lake County State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program. For more information about disbursement of the hurricane relief fund in Lake County or to request an application, call (352) 343-9530.

The Volunteer Florida Foundation manages the Florida Hurricane Relief Fund. To make a tax-deductible donation to the fund, checks should be made payable to the Florida Hurricane Relief Fund, and mailed to Volunteer Florida Foundation, ATTN: Florida Hurricane Relief Fund, 401 S. Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL 32301. To make credit card donations, call 1-800-FL-HELP-1, or log on to www.flahurricanefund.org.

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Contact information:
Christopher Patton
Communications Coordinator
Office: (352) 343-9609; Cell: (352) 455-0445
cpatton@co.lake.fl.us

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