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Baxter Springs residents discuss plans to apply for SBA loans at town hall meeting

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Federal Emergency Management Agency funding will not be given in Baxter Springs, so some residents are now planning to apply for loans through the Small Business Administration. 
However, some say they may not qualify for a loan and left not knowing where to turn.
"It's just a nightmare, this is a nightmare," said homeowner Shelby Kenedy.
Kenedy is a single mother of three children whose home was hit by the recent tornado.
She says ever since digging herself out of the rubble with her children, she has not known what to do.
"I feel lost," she said.  "I feel like there's nowhere to turn."
Kenedy says she will not qualify for a loan from the SBA because she already receives unemployment and does not know what other options she has.
"What help is there for single mothers, for people that are disabled, what help is there for us?"
In a town hall meeting on Saturday morning, city officials directed anyone without insurance to apply for a loan through SBA.
For those like Kenedy who believe they do not qualify, the city recommends getting assistance from  charitable organizations at the Multi-Agency Resource Center located in Baxter Springs High School, known as MARC.
"You don't have to know where to start," said Teri Layton, American Red Cross.  "You don't have to know where everybody is or who can do what because we're trying to represent them all here."
The state has assessed all homes that sustained damage.
However, some residents like Kenedy are unclear on what their assessment was.

"Are we safe to go back in? Do we need to wear masks? I have so many concerns," she said.
For those who are concerned about whether their home is safe to live in again, city officials say a full list of all assessed homes is available at City Hall.
"We can give them the information of what the tag is, what the restrictions are and what they need to do as far as those affected structures," said Robert Myers, City Attorney.
Kenedy would like to repair and stay in her home if possible, but is concerned about the structural damage.
"I'm also concerned about the health issues, the long term health issues for my kids and my mom," she said.  "Who tells us if that's safe?"
Kenedy says unfortunately, others will  face the same unknowns.
"A lot of people aren't going to qualify for a loan," she said.  "I know it's not just me.  I'm not standing alone."
City officials expect members of the Small Business Administration to be available to assist residents by Wednesday at the MARC Center in Baxter Springs High School.
Other agencies at the center include Samaritan's Purse, Catholic Charities, American Red Cross and United Methodist Church.
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