Fairmont non-profit seeks to relocate following consecutive recent flood events

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — A long time non-profit who sustained extensive damage during days of repetitive flooding, is asking for help.

During the extreme rainstorms between June 10 and June 14 that lead to severe flash flooding all around North Central West Virginia, the Disability Action Center received approximately $200,000 worth of damage to their Fairmont facilities. This included damage to the exterior and interior of the building and equipment inside the facility such as computers, workout equipment and the flooding out of a banquet hall. As a result, the agency is requesting for community help via GoFundMe to help with a total relocation plan that would cost approximately $750,000.

“The flood waters just poured down from the backside of 1st Street down to Benoni Avenue as well, it just creates a river down through the back of our building,” said Disability Action Center Director Julie Sole describing in part of what happened.

Damage to the facility that took place between June 10 and June 12, lead to the options for either completely renovating the facility or relocating was brought up, which would’ve costs $200,000 and $750,000 respectively. Unfortunately for the Disability Action Center, they had to re-evaluate their options in order to keep serving North Central West Virginia families. After rainstorms between June 13 and 14, a total relocation of facilities at the $750,000 price tag was determined to be necessary.

“After we got flooded again on June 13 and 14, I only have one plan, and that is to relocate to higher ground,” said Sole. “That is to give our clients and their families a safe center that they can have a healthy learning environment for,” she said.

The Disability Action Center, is a non-profit agency that has served children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in North Central West Virginia for over half a century. Opened in 1958, they have provided services such as educational and enrichment programs to help those who are developmentally disabled as well as be the home for other agencies who focus on their needs.

“We serve close to five hundred individuals with disabilities, children and adults with special needs, all over Marion County and regionally,” said Sole describing the details of their services. “We also house three on-site partners, Special Olympics of Marion County, the Homstead Farm Center and Playworks Child and Adult Therapies,” she said.

So far, the GoFundMe for the Disability Action Center is at $4,795, a bit short of their $100,000 goal. Even though the goal itself is way short of the near three-quarters of a million dollars that will be needed for a total relocation. According to Sole, the GoFundMe will be one of several sources of income expected to be taken for the relocation with request made State Senators Bob Beach and Mike Caputo to get grant money designated to the new facility’s construction. The hope now is that with a combination of several different financial resources, the longtime non-profit will be able to resume operations as soon as possible.

“It won’t make up the lion’s share of what it’s going to take to get us to higher ground, but not only will it help monetarily, I think it will show a real community support and that the community wants to rally around us,” she said.