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TUPELO, Miss. — Jessie Baker waited a long time to replace the roof on her 40 year old home in Tupelo.

Ms. Baker is disabled and lives on a fixed income, and the cost of replacing the roof was more than she could afford. When the roof began to leak and the exterior siding near the roof crumbled, she knew it wouldn’t be much longer before the roof caved in completely.

“I had tried and tried to reason with my insurance company to replace the roof, but they kept telling me it was too old and didn’t fall under their coverage,” said Ms. Baker. “I was stuck, and I just couldn’t afford such an expense on my own. I didn’t know what to do.”

Ms. Baker called the City of Tupelo for assistance and reached Lynda Ford, community development specialist for the City of Tupelo.

“Ms. Baker was in a desperate situation,” said Ms. Ford. “Her roof had to be replaced, but her income limited her options. Thankfully, the city partners with BancorpSouth and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) to obtain grant funding through the Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP). She easily qualified for the grant funds and we were able to help her.”

SNAP grants are available through FHLB Dallas member institutions, such as BancorpSouth, on a first-come, first-served basis to assist income-qualified, special needs homeowners with emergency home repairs and modifications. The program was established in 2009 and has since awarded more than $6 million in grant funds to 1,260 eligible homeowners. FHLB Dallas made available another $1 million in SNAP funding for 2013.

Ms. Baker qualified for a $4,872 SNAP grant and was able to replace her roof, and repair and paint the exterior siding.

“Our partnership with the City of Tupelo really helps us maximize the use of the SNAP grants,” said Christy Minton, assistant vice president at BancorpSouth. “We are proud to serve our community, and appreciate FHLB Dallas’s support in further assisting people like Ms. Baker, who really need the funding to remain safely in their homes.”

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