Southwest Florida families still want the temporary housing FEMA promised them. Three months after Hurricane Ian, some are still without a place to stay, including Bill and Colleen Beveridge, and Bill’s terminal cancer means he has only six months to live.
“I just started crying,” said Colleen Beveridge. “When I heard that, like, oh my God, we’re all the way back to square one now. And my husband’s life is ticking by… you know, FEMA’s dragging their feet. The government… I don’t know what to do anymore.”
FEMA came out to the Beveridges’ Englewood home and marked a spot for a trailer, but nothing materialized. Last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he directed the Florida Division of Emergency Management not to wait for FEMA’s flood zone assessment and to start giving out trailers to people with severely damaged homes after Hurricane Ian. The Beveridges were hopeful.
Colleen Beveridge tells WINK News she’s hearing a lot of back and forth from FEMA. Right now, she is focused on making sure her husband’s last few months alive are comfortable, as impossible as that seems.
Colleen Beveridge shows where she and her husband Bill have been sleeping since Hurricane Ian damaged their home. Credit: WINK News
Colleen and Bill Beveridge have been married for 25 years, and Colleen says the thought of Bill not being here is hard to come to terms with. But she can’t focus on that; since Hurricane Ian damaged their home, they have been living out of their laundry room and shed.
Colleen says she spoke to FEMA late last week and was told her family had been put on the urgent list for a FEMA trailer on Dec. 12. This was news to her, as Colleen was under the impression they had been on that list since the day she filed for FEMA assistance on Oct. 1.
Colleen doesn’t know what her husband’s Christmas will look like and she doesn’t know if they’ll even be in a trailer. Those thoughts brought her to tears.
“I don’t know how we got dropped out that urgent list and how many people are before us on the urgent list now,” Colleen Beveridge said. “I just want him to be comfortable for his last Christmas. I wanted him to be happy in a trailer at least… in a comfortable, warm house for Christmas. But I don’t think that’s going to happen now.”
WINK News reached out to FEMA regarding an update on the Beveridges’ trailer but has not heard back. You can register for a trailer online.