LAFAYETTE, La.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Louisiana’s historic flooding in August 2016 left destruction that spared few in this region. In the months that followed, St. Martin Bank & Trust utilized $117,000 in Special Disaster Relief Program (SDRP) grants, out of the $1 million made available by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas), to assist their communities in recovery. At events yesterday in St. Martinville and Church Point, Louisiana, several grant recipients were joined by representatives of the offices of U.S. Representative Clay Higgins and U.S. Senator John Kennedy, the mayor of St. Martinville, as well as employees of FHLB Dallas and St. Martin Bank & Trust.
“South Louisianians have time and again shown great perseverance and resiliency in the wake of disaster. Many Lafayette families who were once stranded by historic flooding are now on a path to recovery thanks in part to these grants,” said Andrew David, press secretary for Representative Higgins, LA-03. “We are very thankful that Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas and St. Martin Bank & Trust are providing these grant dollars and helping our local communities on the road to recovery.”
One of the grant recipients was Darlene Melancon of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. She was awarded a $3,000 grant through St. Martin Bank & Trust. Disabled and living on a fixed income of $760 per month, Ms. Melancon could not afford to repair her manufactured home, which is located near the Vermillion River.
“The grant was heaven-sent. I just could not believe it,” she said. “I was one of many families who were stranded. I went three weeks without being able to live in my house. We had to return home by boat.”
The grant paid for removing heating and cooling ductwork from beneath her home.
“You could see the water through the floor vents, and one room that was lower had six inches of standing water,” she said. The funds also paid for air conditioning window units, insulation, sheetrock in four rooms, and replacing food that spoiled from a lack of electricity.
“I got so much done that I otherwise would not have been able to do,” she said. “I’m just so grateful to St. Martin Bank & Trust and FHLB Dallas.”
The $117,000 in SDRP grants to St. Martin Bank & Trust assisted two employees and 45 Lafayette-area residents, including Ms. Melancon.
“Such generosity speaks to the heart of these banks,” said St. Martinville Mayor Thomas Nelson. “We say ‘thank you’ to FHLB Dallas and St. Martin Bank & Trust for coming to the aid of so many in St. Martinville and surrounding communities.”
In total, FHLB Dallas awarded nearly $1 million in SDRP grants in Louisiana.
“Going through something like this really puts things in perspective,” said Paul Durand, president and CEO at St. Martin Bank & Trust. “The generosity of FHLB Dallas has touched our communities and has been the backstop in many instances where people were in great need. On behalf of our staff and those receiving grants, I say ‘thank you’ for all that they have done.”
The SDRP grants helped 411 individuals and families affected by the flooding.
“Our members turn to us for liquidity and various services as part of their daily operations. When disaster strikes, we remain committed to their well-being,” said FHLB Dallas President and CEO Sanjay Bhasin.
About St. Martin Bank & Trust
St. Martin Bank & Trust Company, an independently owned state-chartered bank, began its operations with one location in St. Martinville. Today, St. Martin Bank & Trust Company has continued its growth and now has eleven banking locations across St. Martin Parish, Lafayette Parish, Acadia Parish, and Jefferson Davis Parish. We’re proud to serve these growing communities while maintaining our high standards of personal service.
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 $57.5 billion as of March 31, 2017, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community investment 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.