News Article Details

Mental health services available to hurricane victims; shelter opens in new location

Albany Herald - 10/23/2018

Oct. 23--ALBANY -- The Georgia Recovery Project, a grant-funded program operated by Aspire Behavioral Health and Disability Services, is offering mental health support for people in southwest Georgia impacted from the latest natural disaster to effect the region.

Meanwhile, the shelter that had been operating out of the Albany Civic Center has been relocated.

Mental health services for Hurricane Michael victims include individual and group crisis counseling and are available for citizens in Dougherty County, as well as for people living in Baker, Calhoun, Early, Lee, Miller, Terrell and Worth counties, at no cost. For more information on these services, call (229) 430-6037 or email

The Civic Center opened as a shelter on Oct. 11, the day after Michael came through southwest Georgia, and shelter operations closed down there earlier today after 126 people sheltered at the facility overnight on Monday. The victims sheltering at the Civic Center have been transitioned to Second Mt. Zion Baptist Church at 1010 Old Pretoria Road.

At the church, there is a nurse and counselor on-site as well as hygiene kits. Showers and hot meals are also available for storm survivors.

A countywide informational meeting is still set for this evening at 7 p.m. at Radium Springs Middle School at 2600 Radium Springs Road. Representatives with the Dougherty County Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, Dougherty County, the city of Albany and Disaster Assistance Recovery will be present to respond to citizen's questions.

Albany Relief and Recovery Community Organizations Active in Disaster is serving as the county's food and supply distribution site for people effected by Hurricane Michael. Anyone wishing to donate non-perishable food and/or who want to volunteer in the relief effort should contact COAD directly at or (229) 288-2669. The physical location is at 925 Pine Ave.

Citizens with storm-related questions can contact the county's emergency operations center from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. at (229) 483-6226 or (229) 483-6227 for information and assistance.

Public works crews and debris contractors are actively picking up storm debris across the county. Crews will continue to make passes until the clean-up is complete. There is no deadline set for when storm debris crews will no longer pick up materials. Public Works Director Larry Cook said that there will be an announcement with sufficient notice for residents when crews will conduct the final pass.

FEMA teams are helping residents navigate the federal assistance application system at the Disaster Recover Center, or DRC, at 300 Cason Road, the site of the former Isabella School. Small Business Administration personnel are stationed at the DRC, helping business owners with loans and other disaster recovery needs. Citizens can reach FEMA by calling (800) 621-3362, going online at or in person at the DRC.

The hours for the Dougherty County DRC this week are 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and 1-7 p.m. on Sunday.

The Salvation Army is no longer offering meals for storm response and has resumed normal operations, but the American Red Cross is providing meals. The Dougherty County School System is offering access to resources, including uniform assistance, for students and families effected by Hurricane Michael -- so families are asked to make those needs known.

If citizens want to burn in the county, they will need to obtain a burn permit issued by the Georgia Forestry Commission. Citizens can get a burn permit online at or call 1-877-OK2-BURN (652-2876). Fire officials are asking that people never leave a fire unattended.


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