NEW IBERIA, La., June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While visiting a friend, Karen Jones noticed that she had had some repairs done to her home.
The friend was able to pay for the repairs with the help of a Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP) grant from Community First Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas).
FHLB Dallas offers SNAP grants through its member institutions, like Community First Bank, to assist income-qualified, special-needs homeowners with necessary home repairs and modifications.
Soft spots in the floor of her self-described "lopsided" home prompted Ms. Jones, 58, to apply for a SNAP grant. She was awarded $5,000 in funds from Community First Bank and FHLB Dallas, which replaced the floor and elevated parts of the house that were not level. The home repairs were a big help to the retired nanny, who now lives on a fixed monthly income.
"The soft spots were so dangerous," said Ms. Jones. "I constantly had to watch where I stepped. I could have fallen through the holes."
Since SNAP's inception in 2009, more than $10.6 million has been awarded in grants through FHLB Dallas member institutions to assist more than 2,000 families across FHLB Dallas' five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. In 2015, FHLB Dallas awarded nearly $1.5 million in SNAP grants that assisted 319 families. The 2016 SNAP funding, made available in January on a first-come, first-served basis, has been exhausted.
Community First Bank Vice President Kenny LeJeune said that Community First Bank has done more than 50 SNAP applications since 2011 and is happy to serve the community through the program.
"Ms. Jones was so excited to learn of the program," said Mr. LeJeune. "It's truly amazing to know we can provide assistance to residents in need through the SNAP."
FHLB Dallas First Vice President and Director of Community Investment Greg Hettrick praises Community First Bank for utilizing the program.
"Community First Bank is a valued supporter of the SNAP," said Mr. Hettrick. "This program exists to assist elderly and disabled homeowners who cannot afford home repairs. Community First Bank's commitment to improving the lives of these homeowners is an inspiration and we hope to continue this partnership for many years to come."
Mr. LeJeune adds that the program has not only been rewarding, but also seamless, stating that it has been one of the "smoothest programs" he's been involved with.
"Being involved with the SNAP has been one of the most fulfilling experiences in my 35 years of banking," he said.
As for Ms. Jones, she is no longer afraid to have visitors in her home and has a new pep in her step. "The program gave me a little bit of hope to get up in the morning," she said. "I thank God for the blessing to be able to walk on a floor that's not going to fall in."
About Community First Bank
In the late 1990s, a group of Iberia Parish business leaders recognized the need to create a financial institution that would serve the unique needs of the local community. On May 10, 1999, they founded a bank, employing 10 local veteran bankers with a philosophy of superlative service. From modest beginnings in a modular banking facility that housed both retail delivery and back office operations to present-day seven bank branches, plus a recently purchased facility that will house all operations, Main Office Branch, Lending, and Administration, we are 90-plus employees strong and growing. Our business model of offering competitive banking products, investing in technology to provide fast and secure access to your money, and local decision-making by seasoned lenders has created an ideal banking environment to meet the demands of local communities. As the bank continues to grow and expand in neighboring parishes, excellence in customer service will always be our primary goal. For more information about Community First Bank, visit cfirstbank.com.
About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $49.5 billion as of March 31, 2016, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 850 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. For more information, visit fhlb.com.
Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
SOURCE Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas