Local family looking for solutions as FEMA temporary housing program ends

Bay County

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Thirty-one households remain in FEMA trailers as of Friday more than two years after Hurricane Michael, but the deadline for those families to find another housing solution is quickly approaching.

“The hurricane put the hole through the roof and everything was gone,” said resident Callie Holiman, who lives in a FEMA mobile home with her partner, Limon Wilson and their eight kids.

Like 925 other local households, Hurricane Michael destroyed their home, forcing them to find shelter elsewhere. They said the FEMA mobile home they were given has been a blessing, but now, more than two years later, they’re some of the last ones left in FEMA’s temporary housing program with the deadline coming up in less than three weeks.

“Unfortunately this is business and the deadline is happening,” Wilson said. “We’re just looking for another solution now.”

The program ends on February 11th; FEMA gave those left in the mobile homes and trailers the option to purchase them if they can move it off the FEMA-leased property, like at the Bay County Fairgrounds on 15th Street. 

“We return the property to the state that we took it over, which normally means removing the hookups,” explained FEMA spokesman, David Mace, who said it’s been a long process getting 890 households into more permanent housing.

Holiman said they have the money to buy the mobile home from FEMA and a place to move it to, but they don’t have the funds to move it off the fairgrounds. Meanwhile, time is running out before they’ll have to pay potentially thousands more in late fees.

“It’s nerve wracking,” Wilson said. “It’s tough for me at work.”

Regardless, both are staying positive. They said they’re thankful to FEMA for the mobile home; now they’re just hoping for a positive outcome.

“I hope that someone can help us and the kids to get moved,” Holiman said. “To see if there’s any other programs that we don’t know about.”

To help this family, contact Callie Holiman at callieholiman@gmail.com or call her step-father, Steve Werner at 850-517-0992.

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