18 Lumberton residents return home after Hurricane Matthew destruction

LUMBERTON, NC (WBTW) – After nearly 10 months of living in different temporary homes after Hurricane Matthew, several Lumberton residents get to move back into their homes.

The First Baptist Homes apartment community had several residents displaced due to the storm, but Friday, 18 people are coming back to their homes. They have been staying in motels since October 2016, because of the damage done to their homes as a result of Hurricane Matthew.

“This is a community and we need to take care of each other, and I saw that when Matthew came in for these four buildings, and from day one, like I said, I always talked about you all have to help each other,” recalls property manager Sarah McLean.

The Lumberton neighbors who get to return home expressed gratitude when recalling the emotional journey from losing everything to finally regaining stability with Friday’s move.

“A hotel is good for a certain length of time, and thank God that we had it, but that’s not home,” explains Lola Smith, who lost her home in the hurricane. “You’re still homeless. If FEMA hadn’t been kind enough and generous enough to keep us in the hotel so we can come back home, we would’ve been on the street.”

Donations are still needed for those moving back into their homes Friday and for those still waiting for a permanent home. First Baptist Homes asks for necessities – cleaning supplies, toiletries, furniture – to be dropped off at the location at 40 Marion Road in Lumberton or you can call 310-738-6043 for more information.