WORKERS repairing a home in Lewis Yard damaged by Hurricane Matthew. The project is headed by Mr. Richard Halpern. They are currently repairing a number of homes in the Lewis Yard, Hunters area. (BIS Photo/Simon Lewis)
<!-- /templateDebugMode: end template: common/embeddedMedia.html - templateCell: globalDefault.embeddedMedia --> FREEPORT, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas – October 6, 2016 will be a date Grand Bahama residents would long remember.
It was on that day that Hurricane Matthew passed through the island wreaking havoc on our coastal and inland settlements, perhaps the most devastating storm in the island’s history.
In the six months since the passage of Matthew many companies and organizations have joined the government’s efforts in bringing relief to the hundreds affected by the storm.
While the Government through the Department of Social Services and Urban Renewal have been the lead agencies in relief efforts, this article touches on the efforts of Americans Richard Halpern and his wife Anne. Out of Naples, Florida, the couple spends most of their time on Grand Bahama, where they own an apartment. They also spend a lot of their free time with friends at Buddies by the Bay in Hunters.
One could say that Mr. Halpern, with his wife’s support and others, has been working every day since the storm ravaged Grand Bahama.
He began bringing in relief supplies three days after the storm passed. Each week Richard went to the United States and brought back numerous bins loaded with essential supplies, and distributed those items in the hardest hit settlements like Lewis Yard, Pinders Point, Hunters, Mack Town and West End.
He put in place a “We Care” program where they identified persons with special needs and not only spent time with them, but each week for the first three months brought them packages of food worth approximately about $50.00 each.
Mr. Halpern admits that this could not have happened if it were not for the help of Mr. Terrance Bain and others.
In recent months his efforts reach new heights thanks to funding from the various Rotary Chapters, and generous support from others. This allowed Mr. Halpern and his team to begin an aggressive roof repair program.
Already a number of homes have been repaired in the Lewis Yard, Hunters, and Pinders Point area and they are scheduled to take the project into West End as well.
“Many roofs have been repaired, and even more are in the process of receiving building supplies, and/or labour. Again there are Bahamians leading and working hard to stretch every dollar, and (assist) as many families as possible,” Mr. Halpern stated.
He made it clear that their efforts are designed to merely complement the government’s initiatives.
According to the Florida native he gets a special joy from seeing a smile restored to the faces of so many affected by the storm. He encouraged the many companies and other civic groups to continue to give as there are still too many families displaced by the storm’s passing.
October 6, 2016 will be a date Grand Bahama residents would long remember.
was on that day that Hurricane Matthew passed through the island
wreaking havoc on our coastal and inland settlements, perhaps the most
devastating storm in the island’s history.
In the six months
since the passage of Matthew many companies and organizations have
joined the government’s efforts in bringing relief to the hundreds
affected by the storm…
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