Caseworkers help Navy families after Harvey - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Caseworkers help Navy families after Harvey

Fleet and Family Service Center case manager Jean Sammons works the phone to find Navy family members in Harvey’s wake. (Photo source: WLOX) Fleet and Family Service Center case manager Jean Sammons works the phone to find Navy family members in Harvey’s wake. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Hundreds of Navy family members in Harvey’s wake have three women at the Seabee Base to thank for helping them recover.

Caseworkers at the Fleet and Family Service Center continue to reach out not just to provide information, but also to give comfort. Case manager Jean Sammons has had her hands full, and it's not over yet.

“Potentially before it’s over, there will be thousands of people impacted,” Sammons said. “But one by one they are registering. Within a few days, we’ve had 80 families letting us know they needed help.”

Simmons and her two caseworkers have been the first contact for families of deployed Navy service members who were in Harvey’s path. Her first contact was one she will remember.

“The person I talked to started out talking just as you and I are right now,” she said. “And within the first few minutes, she was in tears as the water was up to her knees in her house.”

With Sammons’ guidance, the woman is now safe.

Caseworker Renee Arkwright helped a desperate dialysis patient find a clinic in her area.

“When she finally got it, when I talked to her, she was in tears and she said, ‘Thank you, Ms. Renee, for calling me. You didn’t stop calling me.’ And I was like, ‘No ma’am, and I’m not going to either.’"

The crew continues to work around the clock. As the disaster area continues to grow, so do the number of Navy families who require emotional support as well.

“Several of the families that I spoke to were very emotional,” said caseworker Beth Howton. “We’re just like lifeline to them at this point. It makes me feel good to provide them with the information that they do need and they can start rebuilding their life after the devastation.”

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