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Catholic Charities Helping Florence Families Access the STEP Program before the January 17th Deadline


Hurricane Florence forced thousands of families from their homes. Through FEMA assistance, many of these families are staying in temporary housing situations such as in local hotels. In an effort to get families back into their homes more quickly, the STEP Program was implemented by the State of North Carolina.

“We were really excited to see this support come from the state,” shared Ms. Emilie Hart, Catholic Charities Cape Fear Regional Director. “Families just want to get home, and this is a great opportunity for some of them to do that in the near future.”

While FEMA has identified over 15,000 homeowners as candidates for the program, not all families are participating in the program.

“We’re finding that families either don’t know that they have been approved to participate in this program, or they are skeptical of the phone calls and mailers they received, fearful that they are a scam,” shared Hart.

Catholic Charities staff are focused on helping eligible families register for the STEP program before the January 17th deadline. They are calling eligible homeowners to talk through the process and answer questions. Staff also went out into the community with the forms and helped survivors complete the necessary paperwork.

“We’re doing everything we can to get the word out to eligible families, so they can access this program,” said Hart. “If anyone has a question, they can call our office at (910) 251 – 8130.”

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