HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (WEHT) Many relief and resource centers are still open to western Kentucky tornado survivors.
Some in Hopkins County are adding new rules to keep those looking to steal from them away from those they try to help.
The relief center at Beulah Crossroads Baptist Church in Dawson Springs is a place where people can pick up canned food, coffee mugs to help rebuild their lives. But a few days ago, relief center organizers started requiring those survivors to bring IDs and paperwork to show proof that they need help rebuilding.
“The need is definitely still there,” said Jane Sirois, who runs the church’s relief center. She says last Friday, they started requiring tornado survivors to bring FEMA paperwork and picture IDs to confirm they need help. Sirois has heard of people using other survivors’s FEMA numbers, even if they weren’t tornado survivors.
“There were a few people that I learned some things about that I said, ‘Enough is enough’, and decided that I couldn’t do it anymore. I have been so worried about the people that are real victims being offended, but they are just the opposite. They’re glad I’m doing it,” Sirois recalled.
Beulah Crossroads Baptist’s center is one of several Hopkins County centers tightening rules to prevent fraud. Pastor Kathy Redden of Dayspring Assembly of God says the relief center at her church also requires proof of loss, and picture ID. She says it’s kept some looking to take advantage of actual tornado survivors away.
“I think when we started requiring proof of ID, and they realized they were on to them about coming in and taking advantage, I don’t know where they’d gone, but they haven’t been back,” said Pastor Redden.
Sirois also says the new rules will be in place as long as the relief center is open and as long as people need help rebuilding.The church is still taking donations, which can be taken to their church on 247 Charleston Road in Dawson Springs.
(This story was originally published on July 19, 2022)