#850strong vs. #850tired I’m both

As you all know my little area of the world (Panama City) was hit by a hurricane approximately 4 1/2 months ago.Hurricane Michael left this area devastated.

This storm left people homeless as well as unemployed. Many people left the area in search of affordable as well as safe housing. The school district lost 30% of their school base of students. I read somewhere that the district lost 161 teachers as well as many that worked as support staff.

This may sound like silly numbers that really don’t impact people. What people don’t realize is, is that it really does. It effects funding for our school district. As hard as our district leaders work to provide for our schools, it’s never enough. With this recent tragedy it will be in worse shape than before. I have to give Bill Husfelt HUGE props for asking to cap the FTE to prior hurricane level. He asked, and now we wait, this is a state issue and NOT in his hands.

People have moved due to not being able to obtain affordable housing. Rentals have doubled as well as tripled in some cases. At this point it’s a matter of supply and demand. A lot of previous home owners are having to rent due to damage to their homes.

In defense of the landlords they’re having to make repairs etc to their rental properties post hurricane Michael. We also have some that are just plain greedy and are taking advantage of the bad fortune of others, leaving a lot of people homeless.

What I’m taking forever to get to is the reason for this entry. I did a thing, that thing being an interview with a news station out of Louisville Kentucky. A girlfriend of mine tagged me in a post about hurricane Michael and the effects on the community. My response was “I’m not #850strong but I’m #850tired”.

I made that statement because it’s the truth. After all this time and still living in a FEMA trailer looking at my roofless home is wearing on me. While I’m very appreciative for the help the fine folks at FEMA gave, I’m incredibly exhausted and feeling a bit defeated at times.

The news station (WDRB) contacted me asking if I would do an interview. I figured why not? Why not let people see the precarious position the people of Panama City are REALLY in.

https://www.wdrb.com/in-depth/hurricane-michael-s-wrath-still-evident-in-panama-city-months/article_7685cbce-33af-11e9-bba8-9b7d66746a73.html

I did that interview for so many reasons. I felt the local media portrayed us in an unrealistic light. While we ARE #850strong we are also #850tired.

As embarrassed as I was to air my personal story, I felt the people of Bay county deserved for the story to be told. There are so many others just like me and in the same predicament. People in the Panhandle aren’t looking for a freebie or a hand out. We’re just looking for a light at what feels like an endless tunnel.

I did this interview to bring awareness, not for personal gain. I’ve never been one to look for charity as everyone that knows me knows. I’ve pulled myself up by my bootstraps on more than one occasion and will continue to do so. With that being said I will say, I feel my community has been short-changed and feel as passionate about bringing awareness to this situation as I do about bringing awareness to Multiple Sclerosis.

I was #850strong before it was the in thing and will be after we rebuild, but for now I’m #850tired and not ashamed to admit it.

This is what P.C is about

My boys, hubby, and I as well as this community will rise to the occasion.

I may have come out a bit preachy during my interview, but I legit feel this way. My faith has seen me through before and will again, still a hellion and still me. Making no apologies or making excuses. I’m me always have been and always will be.

This is my town, this is my home and by golly we deserve not to be left in the dust.

Mardigras 2019 Panama City with many more to come.

Keep Bay county alive. We may be small but we are fierce.