CARC sustained $7M in damages in storms

Marlisa Harding

With nearly all of its properties damaged by recent hurricanes, CARC is in need of donations to help the non-profit reopen its 61 damaged properties. Libby Leone, executive director, said CARC sustained $7 million worth of damages from the storms and while insurance will allow the organization to repair and rebuild, “We’ve still got a long, long road for recovery.”

Only one of CARC’s group homes for developmentally delayed adults is open, requiring most residents to live at the Egret Street facility while their homes are rebuilt,” Leone said.

“We’re hoping to have one of them open by the end of February and six can go there,” she said. “Then the other ones in March and April except for one that’s a total loss — our Cherry Hill community home. It’ll be the fall of 2021, hopefully, for that one.”

With the conversion of the Egret Street location to a temporary residential facility, Leone said CARC has recently incurred substantial additional expenses in regards to COVID-19 precautions for meals.

“Since we have them congregated at Egret Street and we don’t have a kitchen, the Office of Public Health says we have to purchase individually packed meals for them. We’re running over budget probably around $2,100 a month just to feed them three catered meals a day which is really, really expensive.”

Despite the challenges CARC has faced this year with the temporary closure of its day program due to COVID-19 restrictions, limited bussing and the hurricanes, Leone said she’s confident of the non-profit’s future in the community.

“Some of our folks have been with us for 50, 60 years. They become family because generally once they come to CARC they stay on.”

As residents and clients gradually return to their homes and facilities, CARC will need the community’s help acquiring household necessities like bedding, furniture, hygiene and cleaning supplies.

“Even disinfectant spray, we try to buy it when we see it on the shelves but it’s hard to find sometimes and we go through a lot of that.”

Leone said community members can help the non-profit make steps towards fully reopening by dropping supplies off at 4100 Senator J. Bennett Johnson Avenue or giving a tax-deductible donation at www.carc.us.CARC residential apartments

Special to the American Press

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