GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The April 15 tornado came and went through Greensboro, Guilford County and parts of Rockingham county nearly two months ago, but there are still services available to those who need help.
The City of Greensboro says they received more than $600,000 in donations from community members and through organizations like United Way and the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro. According to a city spokesperson, other organizations like the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, the Greensboro Housing Coalition and other groups can request those funds to distribute out and meet community needs.
But Armina Swittenburg, who works with New Jerusalem Church in Greensboro, says when it comes to aid there are too many steps people often have to take before they get help they need right now.
"Understanding how to maneuver a system that is already layered and complicated for just on average," Armina says. "Now you have that coupled with a storm and so you have these events that are happening to these people on top of an already tragic situation."
Armina and the church team go out regularly into the areas hit hardest by the storm. She says she sees a lot of problems with landlord-tenant disputes, reconnecting power and finding housing.
She also says people are having problems requesting help through FEMA or just not being able to get any sort of assistance at all.
"Trying to understand if I do get denied, what do I do next?" Swittenburg says, noting a lot f people in the areas impacted just don't have money to spare. "Gotta decide whether to eat this week or pay a bill because I'm already set back by the storm. So, you have an economically challenged area being in trouble on top of the trouble they already have."
The city is hoping to make the help process as easy as possible. One option is to call 2-1-1. A specialist with United Way will be able to answer questions and refer you to other services that you might need.
If you want to apply for FEMA aid: click here for a guide on how to do it.
If you need help with housing, you can contact the Greensboro Housing Coalition.
If you need legal assistance, Smith Moore Leatherwood law firm has established a free legal aid hotline for those impacted by the tornado. You can get help with FEMA benefits appeals, other disaster benefits, insurance claims, home repair contractors, landlord-tenant concerns, replacing legal documents and scammers. To reach the hotline you can call 1-833-242-3549. It's open weekdays 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. You can also go to legalaidnc.org for more information.
The City of Greensboro is also keeping track of recovery and assistance efforts on its website.