Franklin County Officials Provide Immediate Relief

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Residents in Franklin County are feeling the pinch from problems stemming in the Apalachicola Bay.

Officials within the county held a resource fair Friday morning coordinated with the Gulf Coast Workforce Board.

While officials wait to hear back from federal officials declaring a fishery failure and send financial help, residents are struggling to make ends meet during a severe economic hardship.

After last week's meeting with seafood workers and community members as well as federal representatives, Franklin County officials knew they needed to work to make resources available quickly to residents of the area.

"When you're self employed and particularly in this industry, most people don't have access to the reemployment assistance funds," said Kim Bodine, executive director of Gulf Coast Workforce Board. "We knew it was important to have a resource fair to bring some state and social services together to tell people about the services that they can get access to."

Friday morning, 17 different organizations met at the Eastpoint Firehouse to help residents get on their feet for now. Services were provided for residents to apply for assistance with paying their bills as well as doing a job search to match their skills with other occupations that needed workers.

"People need immediate relief now," said Mark Smith, a local seafood worker. "A lot of people here live not week to week, they live day to day. How are people going to pay their bills next month? This month? Last month?"

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