Until recently, staffing shortages at Biggby Coffee were so severe that many of the chain’s 300-plus stores had to close early some days, or in some cases not open at all. But while hiring remains a challenge, the pressure has begun to ease, said Mike McFall, the company’s co-founder and co-chief executive. One franchisee recently told him that 22 of his 25 locations were fully staffed and that only one was experiencing a severe shortage.

“We are definitely feeling the burden is lifting in terms of getting people to take the job,” Mr. McFall said. “We’re getting more applications, we’re getting more people through training now.”

The shift is a welcome one for business owners like Mr. McFall. He said franchisees have had to raise wages 50 percent or more to attract and retain workers — a cost increase they have offset by raising prices.

“The expectation by the consumer is that you are raising prices, and so if you don’t take advantage of that moment, you are going to be in a pickle,” he said, referring to the pressure to increase wages. “So you manage it by raising prices.”

So far, Mr. McFall said, higher prices haven’t deterred customers. Still, he said, the period of severe staffing shortages is not without its costs. He has seen a loss in sales, as well as a loss of efficiency and experienced workers. That will take time to rebuild, he said.

“When we were in crisis, it was all we were focused on,” he said. “So now that it feels like the crisis is mitigating, that it’s getting a little better, we can now begin to focus on the culture in the stores and try to build that up again.”

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U.K. Borrowers React to Soaring Interest Rates in Mortgage Market

LOUGHTON, England — After nearly two decades of renting in one of the world’s most expensive cities, the Szostek family began the week almost certain that they would finally own a home.

Transplants to London who fell in love as housemates, Laetitia Anne, an operations manager from France and her husband, Maciej Szostek, a chef from Poland, had long dreamed of being homeowners. They had waited out the uncertain pandemic years and worked overtime shifts to save up for the deposit for a mortgage on a three-bedroom apartment in a neighborhood outside London. Their 13-year-old twins were excited they could finally paint the walls.

That was before British financial markets were upended, with the pound briefly hitting a record low against the dollar on Monday and interest rates soaring so rapidly that the Bank of England was forced to intervene to restore order. The economic situation was so volatile that some mortgage lenders temporarily withdrew many products.

By Tuesday evening, the Szostek family learned the bad news: The loan that they were close to securing had fallen through. Suddenly, they were scrambling to find another lender as interest rates climb higher.

loss of purchasing power over time, meaning your dollar will not go as far tomorrow as it did today. It is typically expressed as the annual change in prices for everyday goods and services such as food, furniture, apparel, transportation and toys.

Rising home prices and income inequality priced many out of the market, but for strivers who aspired to homeownership, the latest ruptures to the economy hit hard. The release of the new government’s sweeping plan for debt-funded tax cuts led to a big uptick in interest rates this week that roiled the mortgage market. Many homeowners are calculating their potential future mortgage payments with alarm, amid soaring energy and food prices and a general cost-of-living crisis.

Before they were informed they were no longer eligible, the family had been in the final stages of applying for a five-year fixed-rate mortgage on an apartment priced at £519,000, or around $576,000, in the leafy parish of Loughton, a town about 40 minutes north of London by train where the streets fill with students in the afternoon and the properties span from lower-end apartments to million-pound mansions.

according to the Financial Conduct Authority. And more than a third of all mortgages are on fixed rates that expire within the next two years, most likely exposing those borrowers to higher rates, too. By contrast, the vast majority of mortgages in the United States are locked in for 30-year fixed terms.

And the abrupt surge in interest rates could threaten to set off a housing market crisis, analysts at Oxford Economics wrote in a note on Friday, adding that if mortgage rates stayed at the levels now being offered, that would suggest that house prices were around 30 percent overvalued “based on the affordability of mortgage payment.”

“This just adds a significant further strain to finances in the order of hundreds of pounds a month,” said David Sturrock, a senior research economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, adding that the squeeze on household budgets will affect the broader economy.

Uncertainty and even panic was clear this week, with many homeowners seeking financial advice. Mortgage brokers said they were receiving a higher volume of inquiries than normal from people stressed about refinancing their loans.

“You can feel the fear in people’s voices,” said Caroline Opie, a mortgage broker working with Ms. Anne who said she had not seen this level of worry in a long time. One couple this week even called her the morning of their wedding, she said, to set an appointment to refinance their mortgage next week.

the war in Ukraine. “Something has got to give,” he said. “Prices are too high anyway.”

To save for the deposit, Mr. Szostek, 37, picked up construction shifts and cleaning jobs when restaurants closed during Covid-19 lockdowns. A £5,000 inheritance from Ms. Anne’s grandfather went into their deposit fund. At a 3.99 percent interest rate, the mortgage repayments were set to be about £2,200 a month.

“I wanted to feel at home for real,” said Ms. Anne, adding she would have been the first in her family to own a property. Mr. Szostek called it “a lifelong dream.”

On Wednesday night, that dream still seemed in reach: The mortgage dealer Ms. Opie had found another loan, which they rushed to apply for.

The higher interest rate — 4.6 percent — will mean their new monthly mortgage payment will be £2,400, the upper limit of what the Szostek family can afford. Still, they felt lucky to secure anything at all, hoping it will mean their promises to their children — of bigger bedrooms, more space, freedom to decorate how they like — will materialize.

They would wait to celebrate, Mr. Szostek said, until they had the keys in hand.

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CorpHousing Group Inc. Announces 2022 Second Quarter Financial Results

MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CorpHousing Group Inc. (“CorpHousing,” “CHG”, or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: CHG), which utilizes a long-term lease, asset-light business model to acquire and manage a growing portfolio of short-term rental properties in major metropolitan cities, today announced financial results for the second quarter (“Q2 2022”) and six months ended June 30, 2022.

2022 Second Quarter Financial Overview Compared to 2021 Second Quarter

2022 Six Months Financial Overview Compared to 2021 Six Months

Operational Highlights

“We are excited to announce our Q2 results, which we believe reflect the success of our asset-light business model, the vibrancy of our target markers, and the opportunities inherent in our industry,” said Brian Ferdinand, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CorpHousing Group. “Q2 2022 net rental revenue increased by 144%, gross profit increased 19-fold, net income improved by $1.9 million, and EBITDA for the quarter was $2.1 million. Our available units for rent increased quarter over quarter, occupancy rates improved as the effects of COVID pandemic wane, and we realized certain efficiencies from scale.

“We currently operate hotels under long-term lease agreements in Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, greater Miami, New York City, Washington, DC, and Seattle, and will commence operations in New Orleans in mid-October.

We are in various stages of negotiation with a variety of potential partners that represent thousands of additional hotel units in destination locations across the United States and Europe. We believe that we are creating win-win opportunities by providing property owners the ability to create stable cash flow streams to maximize returns on their properties, which have been significantly impacted by restrictions on travel and leisure activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CHG then markets these units under our customer facing LuxUrbanTM brand to increase occupancy rates and drive operational efficiencies, thus creating the opportunity to generate high margin, recurring and predictable revenue streams. Supported by a strengthened balance sheet and seasoned team of executives, we believe that are well positioned to advance our highly scalable, predictable, and profitable business model and look forward to our future with confidence.”

Q2 2022 Overview

Net rental revenue in Q2 2022 increased 144% to $10.2 million from $4.2 million in the second quarter ended June 30, 2021 (“Q2 2021”), driven primarily by an increase in average units available to rent from 376 in Q2 2021 to 565 at Q2 2022, as well as better occupancy rates and average daily rates (“ADRs”) over this period.

Cost of revenue, which includes rental expenses for available units to rent, rose to $7.3 million in Q2 2022 from $4.0 million in Q2 2021, due primarily to the increase in size of CHG’s rental unit portfolio, as well as related increases in furniture rentals, cleaning costs, cable / WIFI costs and credit card processing fees.

Gross profit improved to $2.9 million, or 28% of net rental revenue, from $0.1 million, or 3.5% of net rental revenue. Higher gross profit and gross margin was primarily attributable to a reduction in the impact of COVID-19 on our operations, higher unit counts and better occupancy rates and ADRs.

Total general and administrative expenses in Q2 2022 increased to $0.9 million, or 9% of net rental revenue, from $0.7 million, or 18% of net rental revenue, in Q2 2021, attributable to an increased number of units in operation.

Income before provision for income taxes improved to $1.5 million from a loss of $(1.1) million, reflecting a significant increase in net rental revenue in Q2 2022 compared to Q2 2021 and the benefits of scale-driven operating efficiencies.

Net income improved to $0.8 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $(1.1) million.

EBITDA rose to $2.1 million, or 21% of net rental revenue, in Q2 2022 compared to negative EBITDA of $(0.6) million.

For a discussion of the financial measures presented herein which are not calculated or presented in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”), see “Note Regarding Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below and the schedules to this press release for additional information and reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures. The company presents non-GAAP measures such as EBITDA to assist in an analysis of its business. These non-GAAP measures should not be considered an alternative to GAAP measures as an indicator of the company’s operating performance.

Conference Call and Webcast

The Company will host a conference call on Tuesday, September 27, 2022 at 9:00 am Eastern Time to discuss the results.

Investors interested in participating in the live call can dial:

A webcast of the event may be accessed via the following link: https://event.choruscall.com/mediaframe/webcast.html?webcastid=ltKz5SSV.

CorpHousing Group Inc.

CorpHousing Group (CHG) utilizes a long-term lease, asset-light business model to acquire and manage a growing portfolio of short-term rental properties in major metropolitan cities. The Company’s future growth focuses primarily on seeking to create “win-win” opportunities for owners of dislocated hotels, including those impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions, while providing CHG favorable operating margins. CHG operates these properties in a cost-effective manner by leveraging technology to identify, acquire, manage, and market them globally to business and vacation travelers through dozens of third-party sales and distribution channels, and the Company’s own online portal. Guests at the Company’s properties are provided Heroic Service™ under CHG’s consumer brands, including LuxUrban. CHG’s Heroic ServiceTM provides guests a hassle-free experience which exceeds their expectations with “Heroes” who respond to any issue in a timely, thoughtful, and thorough manner.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including with respect to the expected closing of noted lease transactions and continued closing on additional leases for properties in the Company’s pipeline, as well the Company’s anticipated ability to commercialize efficiently and profitably the properties it leases and will lease in the future. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those set forth under the caption “Risk Factors” in the prospectus forming part of the Company’s effective Registration Statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-262114). Generally, such forward-looking information or forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or may contain statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will be taken”, “will continue”, “will occur” or “will be achieved”. Forward-looking information may relate to anticipated events or results including, but not limited to business strategy, leasing terms, high-level occupancy rates, and sales and growth plans. The financial projection provided herein are based on certain assumptions and existing and anticipated market, travel and public health conditions, all of which may change. The forward-looking information and forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date of this press release, and the Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking information and/or forward-looking statements that are contained or referenced herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

The Company seeks to achieve profitable, long-term growth by monitoring and analyzing key operating metrics, including EBITDA. The Company defines EBITDA as net income before interest, taxes, and depreciation. The Company’s management uses this non-GAAP financial metric and related computations to evaluate and manage the business and to plan and make near and long-term operating and strategic decisions. The management team believes this non-GAAP financial metric is useful to investors to provide supplemental information in addition to the GAAP financial results. Management reviews the use of its primary key operating metrics from time-to-time. EBITDA is not intended to be a substitute for any GAAP financial measure and as calculated, may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of performance of other companies in other industries or within the same industry. The Company’s management team believes it is useful to provide investors with the same financial information that it uses internally to make comparisons of historical operating results, identify trends in underlying operating results, and evaluate its business.

A reconciliation of net income to EBITDA will be provided in the company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the three and six months ended June 30, 2022 to be filed on September 26, 2022, under the section thereof entitled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Reconciliation of Unaudited Historical Results to EBITDA.”

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheet

(Unaudited)

 

 

 

(unaudited)

 

 

 

 

June 30,

 

December 31,

 

 

2022

 

2021

ASSETS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Assets

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash

 

$

556

 

 

$

6,998

 

Processor retained funds

 

 

4,616,255

 

 

 

56,864

 

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

 

 

512,939

 

 

 

166,667

 

Deferred offering costs

 

 

1,234,500

 

 

 

771,954

 

Security deposits – current

 

 

276,943

 

 

 

276,943

 

Total Current Assets

 

$

6,641,193

 

 

$

1,279,426

 

Other Assets

 

 

 

 

 

 

Furniture and equipment, net

 

 

8,944

 

 

 

11,500

 

Restricted cash

 

 

1,100,000

 

 

 

1,100,000

 

Security deposits – noncurrent

 

 

4,108,010

 

 

 

1,377,010

 

Operating lease right-of-use asset, net

 

 

49,941,971

 

 

 

 

Total Other Assets

 

 

55,158,925

 

 

 

2,488,510

 

Total Assets

 

$

61,800,118

 

 

$

3,767,936

 

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ DEFICIT

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Liabilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accounts payable and accrued expenses

 

$

5,301,053

 

 

$

4,209,366

 

Rents received in advance

 

 

4,071,095

 

 

 

1,819,943

 

Merchant cash advances – net of unamortized costs of $0 and $57,768, respectively

 

 

575,489

 

 

 

1,386,008

 

Loans payable – current portion

 

 

2,780,054

 

 

 

1,267,004

 

Loans payable – SBA – PPP Loan – current portion

 

 

815,183

 

 

 

815,183

 

Convertible loans payable – related parties – current portion

 

 

2,596,865

 

 

 

 

Loans payable – related parties – current portion

 

 

1,071,128

 

 

 

22,221

 

Operating lease liability – current

 

 

7,182,381

 

 

 

 

Income taxes payable

 

 

750,000

 

 

 

 

Total Current Liabilities

 

 

25,143,248

 

 

 

9,519,725

 

Long-Term Liabilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loans payable

 

 

545,789

 

 

 

925,114

 

Loans payable – SBA – EIDL Loan

 

 

800,000

 

 

 

800,000

 

Loans payable – related parties

 

 

 

 

 

496,500

 

Convertible loans payable – related parties

 

 

700,195

 

 

 

2,608,860

 

Line of credit

 

 

94,975

 

 

 

94,975

 

Deferred rent

 

 

 

 

 

536,812

 

Operating lease liability

 

 

43,962,492

 

 

 

 

Total Long-term Liabilities

 

 

46,103,451

 

 

 

5,462,261

 

Total Liabilities

 

 

71,246,699

 

 

 

14,981,986

 

Commitments and Contingencies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stockholders’ Deficit

 

 

 

 

 

 

Members’ Deficit

 

 

 

 

 

(11,214,050

)

Common stock (shares authorized, issued and outstanding – 90,000,000; 21,675,001; 21,675,001; respectively)

 

 

216

 

 

 

 

Accumulated deficit

 

 

(9,446,797

)

 

 

 

Total Stockholders’ Deficit

 

 

(9,446,581

)

 

 

(11,214,050

)

Total Liabilities and Stockholders’ Deficit

 

$

61,800,118

 

 

$

3,767,936

 

Condensed Consolidated Statement of Operations

(Unaudited)

 

 

 

For the Three Months Ended

 

For the Six Months Ended

 

 

June 30, 2022

 

June 30, 2021

 

June 30, 2022

 

June 30, 2021

Rental Revenue

 

$

12,656,540

 

 

$

6,728,686

 

 

$

24,419,439

 

 

$

11,688,873

 

Refunds and Allowances

 

 

2,455,202

 

 

 

2,545,820

 

 

 

5,118,676

 

 

 

4,199,978

 

Net Rental Revenue

 

 

10,201,338

 

 

 

4,182,866

 

 

 

19,300,763

 

 

 

7,488,895

 

Cost of Revenue

 

 

7,344,720

 

 

 

4,035,238

 

 

 

13,930,882

 

 

 

7,920,531

 

Gross Profit (Loss)

 

 

2,856,618

 

 

 

147,628

 

 

 

5,369,881

 

 

 

(431,636

)

General and Administrative Expenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Administrative and other

 

 

809,121

 

 

 

701,040

 

 

 

1,559,742

 

 

 

1,258,458

 

Professional fees

 

 

76,500

 

 

 

37,390

 

 

 

305,485

 

 

 

90,404

 

Total General and Administrative Expenses

 

 

885,621

 

 

 

738,430

 

 

 

1,865,227

 

 

 

1,348,862

 

Net Income (Loss) Before Other Income (Expense)

 

 

1,970,997

 

 

 

(590,802

)

 

 

3,504,654

 

 

 

(1,780,498

)

Other Income (Expense)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other income

 

 

137,154

 

 

 

434

 

 

 

587,067

 

 

 

467

 

Interest and financing costs

 

 

(595,742

)

 

 

(542,764

)

 

 

(1,159,879

)

 

 

(660,007

)

Total Other Expenses

 

 

(458,588

)

 

 

(542,330

)

 

 

(572,812

)

 

 

(659,540

)

Income (Loss) Before Provision for Income Taxes

 

 

1,512,409

 

 

 

(1,133,132

)

 

 

2,931,842

 

 

 

(2,440,038

)

Provision for Income Taxes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current

 

 

750,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

750,000

 

 

 

 

Net Income (Loss)

 

$

762,409

 

 

$

(1,133,132

)

 

$

2,181,842

 

 

$

(2,440,038

)

Basic and diluted earnings per common share

 

$

0.04

 

 

$

 

 

$

0.10

 

 

$

 

Basic and diluted weighted average number of common shares outstanding

 

 

21,675,001

 

 

 

 

 

 

21,315,747

 

 

 

 

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

To supplement the condensed consolidate financial statements, which are prepared in accordance with GAAP, we use EBITDA as a non-GAAP financial measure.

The following table provides reconciliation of net income (loss) to EBITDA:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Months Ended June 30, (unaudited)

 

Six Months Ended June 30, (unaudited)

 

 

2022

 

2021

 

2022

 

2021

Net Income (loss)

 

$

762,409

 

$

(1,133,132

)

 

$

2,181,842

 

$

(2,440,038

)

Provision for Income Taxes

 

$

750,000

 

$

 

 

$

750,000

 

$

 

Interest and Financing cost

 

$

595,742

 

$

542,764

 

 

$

1,159,879

 

$

660,007

 

Depreciation Expense

 

$

 

$

 

 

$

2,556

 

$

 

EBITDA

 

$

2,108,151

 

$

(590,368

)

 

$

4,094,277

 

$

(1,780,031

)

EBITDA is defined as net income or loss before the impact of interest, taxes and depreciation and amortization. EBITDA is a key measure of our financial performance and measures our efficiency and operating cash flow before financing costs, taxes and working capital needs. We utilize EBITDA because it provides us with an operating metric closely tied to the operations of the business.

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Strong Dollar Is Good for the US but Bad for the World

The Federal Reserve’s determination to crush inflation at home by raising interest rates is inflicting profound pain in other countries — pushing up prices, ballooning the size of debt payments and increasing the risk of a deep recession.

Those interest rate increases are pumping up the value of the dollar — the go-to currency for much of the world’s trade and transactions — and causing economic turmoil in both rich and poor nations. In Britain and across much of the European continent, the dollar’s acceleration is helping feed stinging inflation.

On Monday, the British pound touched a record low against the dollar as investors balked at a government tax cut and spending plan. And China, which tightly controls its currency, fixed the renminbi at its lowest level in two years while taking steps to manage its decline.

Somalia, where the risk of starvation already lurks, the strong dollar is pushing up the price of imported food, fuel and medicine. The strong dollar is nudging debt-ridden Argentina, Egypt and Kenya closer to default and threatening to discourage foreign investment in emerging markets like India and South Korea.

the International Monetary Fund.

Japanese yen has reached a decades-long high. The euro, used by 19 nations across Europe, reached 1-to-1 parity with the dollar in June for the first time since 2002. The dollar is clobbering other currencies as well, including the Brazilian real, the South Korean won and the Tunisian dinar.

the economic outlook in the United States, however cloudy, is still better than in most other regions.

loss of purchasing power over time, meaning your dollar will not go as far tomorrow as it did today. It is typically expressed as the annual change in prices for everyday goods and services such as food, furniture, apparel, transportation and toys.

A fragile currency can sometimes work as “a buffering mechanism,” causing nations to import less and export more, Mr. Prasad said. But today, many “are not seeing the benefits of stronger growth.”

Still, they must pay more for essential imports like oil, wheat or pharmaceuticals as well as for loan bills due from billion-dollar debts.

debt crisis in Latin America in the 1980s.

The situation is particularly fraught because so many countries ran up above-average debts to deal with the fallout from the pandemic. And now they are facing renewed pressure to offer public support as food and energy prices soar.

Indonesia this month, thousands of protesters, angry over a 30 percent price increase on subsidized fuel, clashed with the police. In Tunisia, a shortage of subsidized food items like sugar, coffee, flour and eggs has shuttered cafes and emptied market shelves.

New research on the impact of a strong dollar on emerging nations found that it drags down economic progress across the board.

“You can see these very pronounced negative effects of a stronger dollar,” said Maurice Obstfeld, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and an author of the study.

central banks feel pressure to raise interest rates to bolster their currencies and prevent import prices from skyrocketing. Last week, Argentina, the Philippines, Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Sweden, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Britain and Norway raised interest rates.

World Bank warned this month that simultaneous interest rate increases are pushing the world toward a recession and developing nations toward a string of financial crises that would inflict “lasting harm.”

Clearly, the Fed’s mandate is to look after the American economy, but some economists and foreign policymakers argue it should pay more attention to the fallout its decisions have on the rest of the world.

In 1998, Alan Greenspan, a five-term Fed chair, argued that “it is just not credible that the United States can remain an oasis of prosperity unaffected by a world that is experiencing greatly increased stress.”

The United States is now facing a slowing economy, but the essential dilemma is the same.

“Central banks have purely domestic mandates,” said Mr. Obstfeld, the U.C. Berkeley economist, but financial and trade globalization have made economies more interdependent than they have ever been and so closer cooperation is needed. “I don’t think central banks can have the luxury of not thinking about what’s happening abroad.”

Flávia Milhorance contributed reporting from Rio de Janeiro.

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New Model To Enlist Regular Americans To Resettle Refugees

Neighbors, co-workers, faith groups and friends have banded together in “sponsor circles” to help Afghans get settled in their communities.

When nearly 80,000 Afghans arrived in the United States, refugee resettlement agencies quickly became overwhelmed, still scrambling to rehire staff and reopen offices after being gutted as the Trump administration dropped refugee admissions to a record low.

So the U.S. State Department, working with humanitarian organizations, turned to ordinary Americans to fill the gap. Neighbors, co-workers, faith groups and friends banded together in “sponsor circles” to help Afghans get settled in their communities.

They raised money and found the newcomers homes to rent, enrolled their children in schools, taught them how to open bank accounts and located the nearest mosques and stores selling halal meat.

Since the U.S. military’s withdrawal from Kabul last year, the Sponsor Circle Program for Afghans has helped over 600 Afghans restart their lives. When Russia invaded Ukraine, a similar effort was undertaken for Ukrainians.

Now the Biden administration is preparing to turn the experiment into a private-sponsorship program for refugees admitted through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and is asking organizations to team up with it to launch a pilot program by the end of 2022.

The move comes amid increasing pressure on President Joe Biden, who vowed in a 2021 executive order to increase opportunities for Americans to resettle refugees and restore the U.S. as the world’s safe haven. The Trump administration decimated the refugee program, which traditionally tasks nine resettlement agencies with placing refugees in communities.

Experts say the private sponsorship model could transform the way America resettles refugees and ensure a door remains open no matter who is elected.

“I think there is a real revolution right now that is happening in terms of American communities and communities around the world that are raising their hands and saying, `We want to bring in refugees,'” said Sasha Chanoff, founder and CEO of RefugePoint, a Boston–based nonprofit that helped jumpstart the effort.

It comes as the number of people forced to flee their homes topped 100 million this year, the first time on record, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The pilot program will incorporate lessons learned from the Sponsor Circle Program for Afghans, which was developed as an emergency measure to accelerate the resettlement of Afghans, with many languishing on U.S. bases. But the pilot program will differ because it is intended to be “an enduring element of U.S. refugee resettlement,” a U.S. State Department spokesperson said in an email to The Associated Press.

The pilot program will match regular Americans with refugees overseas who have already been approved for admission to the U.S., the spokesperson said. Later, the plan will let Americans identify a refugee overseas and apply to resettle them.

Canada has used private sponsorship for decades to augment its government program.

Chanoff said the new model should also be in addition to the traditional U.S. government refugee program, which has admitted only about 15% of the 125,000 cap Biden set for the budget year that ends Sept. 30. The Biden administration has been slow to beef up staff and overcome the huge backlog, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to advocates.

Those numbers exclude the roughly 180,000 Afghans and Ukrainians who were mostly admitted through humanitarian parole, a temporary legal option that was intended to get them in quicker but left them with less government support.

Regular Americans helped fill that need, Afghan families say.

Under the Sponsor Circle Program for Afghans, participants underwent background checks, received training and developed a three-month plan. Each group had to raise at least $2,275 for each person who was resettled, the same allocation the U.S. government gives agencies for each refugee.

Mohammad Walizada, who fled Kabul with his family, said five days after he was connected to a sponsor circle with the Four Rivers Church in New Hampshire, his family moved into a furnished home in Epping, a town of about 7,000 residents.

Meanwhile, Afghan friends and relatives spent months on U.S. bases waiting to be placed by a resettlement agency, he said. Many ended up in California, staying in hotels because of the lack of affordable housing, and with just three months of government assistance.

He said his sponsor circle gave his family 10 months worth of rent and a car, and someone still checks on him, his wife and six children daily. Each circle gets a mentor who coaches them from WelcomeNST, an organization created in 2021 to help Americans resettle Afghans and now Ukrainians. The organization offers a Slack channel for circles and partners with the resettlement agency, HIAS, which connects them to caseworkers when needed.

The New Hampshire team has more than 60 members helping people like Walizada.

“I feel like I have a lot of family here now,” Walizada said.

To be sure, regular Americans have always helped resettle refugees, but not at this scale since the 1980 U.S. Refugee Act created the formal program, experts say.

A similar outpouring of goodwill happened when the Biden administration launched Uniting for Ukraine, which allows Ukrainians fleeing the war into the U.S. for two years with a private sponsor. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the program, received more than 117,000 applications through August.

Hundreds of Americans have formed teams to resettle Ukrainians, including in Wyoming — the only state that has never allowed an official refugee resettlement program.

“We just wanted to be able to do something and we have such a beautiful community here,″ said Darren Adwalpalker, pastor at Highland Park Community Church in Casper, who formed a group that sponsored three Ukrainians who arrived to the city of 60,000 in June.

Adwalpalker got support from humanitarian group Samaritan’s Purse.

“Without private sponsorship, this would not have been possible for a lot of these communities with tremendous resources and goodwill to do this,” said Krista Kartson, who directs its refugee programs.

With $3,000, the pastor said his group provided an apartment for six months for the one Ukrainian who stayed in Casper. Just about everything else — grocery store gift cards, furniture — was donated.

“One of the things I’ve learned is that the whole idea of a resettlement office isn’t that significant” if there are people on the ground willing to help, said Adwalpalker.

“We’ve got dentists working on their teeth. We have doctors seeing them. We have lawyers helping with their immigration paperwork.”

Rudi Berkelhamer, a retired biology professor, wanted to help because her grandparents fled attacks on Jews in the early 20th century in what is now Ukraine.

She was connected to a sponsor circle in Irvine, California, through HIAS, which requires a six-month commitment. Circle members had a week to get to know each other and draft a plan before they were matched to an Afghan family — a young couple and their 3-year-old son — in February.

Berkelhamer shuttled furniture to the family’s home and got them set up with computers and cellphones. Others got them bus passes.

The father — a mechanical engineer who worked with the U.S. military in Afghanistan — found work at a parachute factory. The mother is taking English classes, and their son is attending preschool.

Berkelhamer sees the family every two weeks. This summer, she went to a museum with the mom and another circle member to paint parasols and have lunch. She plans to keep helping.

“It is not just the necessities; it is doing those kinds of things that make it so meaningful,” she said.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Retail Sales Up 0.3% In August From July Amid Inflation

By Associated Press
September 15, 2022

Consumer spending accounts for nearly 70% of U.S. economic activity.

Americans picked up their spending a bit in August from July even as surging inflation on household necessities like rent and food took a toll on family budgets.

U.S. retail sales rose an unexpected 0.3% last month after falling 0.4% in July, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Excluding business at gas stations, sales rose 0.8%.

Sales at grocery stores rose 0.5% , helped by rising prices in food.

There was, however, weakening in some areas of discretionary spending with Americans fully aware of inflation’s bite. Business at restaurants ticked up 1.1%, but the pace has slowed. Sales at furniture stores fell 1.3%. Online sales fell 0.7% last month after Amazon’s Prime Day boosted e-commerce sales in July.

“Retailers would probably like to be growing more, especially relative to inflation, but I’m not sure they could realistically hope for much more,” said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate.com. “Consumer spending habits are changing as the pandemic continues to recede and inflation remains high.”

Consumer spending accounts for nearly 70% of U.S. economic activity and Americans have remained mostly resilient even with inflation near four-decade highs. Yet surging prices for everything from mortgages to milk have upped the anxiety level. Overall spending has slowed and shifted increasingly toward necessities like food, while spending on electronics, furniture, new clothes and other non-necessities has faded.

On Thursday, it appeared that the U.S. dodged a national freight rail strike, which could have sent retail prices higher.

Still, inflation remains stubbornly high. Lower gas costs slowed U.S. inflation for a second straight month in August, but most other prices across the economy kept going up — evidence that inflation remains a heavy load for American households.

Consumer prices rose 8.3% from a year earlier and 0.1% from July. But the jump in “core” prices, which exclude volatile food and energy costs, was especially worrisome. It outpaced expectations and sparked fear that the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates more aggressively and raise the risk of a recession.

The government’s monthly report on retail sales covers about a third of all consumer purchases and doesn’t include spending on most services, ranging from plane fares and apartment rents to movie tickets and doctor visits. In recent months, Americans have been shifting their purchases away from physical goods and more toward travel, hotel stays and plane trips as the threat of the virus fades.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Guaranteed Income Programs Spring Up City by City

Early in the pandemic, Alondra Barajas had a temporary job for the Census Bureau, doing phone work from the two-bedroom apartment she shared with her mother and four younger siblings. When that job ended in late 2020, she struggled to find employment.

But Ms. Barajas learned from an ad on Instagram that she might qualify for an unusual form of assistance: monthly payments of $1,000 for a year.

Since she started receiving the funds this year — while caring for her newborn, searching for a job and looking for a new place to stay — her outlook has seemed brighter.

Oakland pledged to give 600 low-income families $500 for 18 months, and in San Diego, some families with young children will get $500 a month for two years.

Last year, the state set aside $35 million over five years for cities to carry out pilot programs, which can use different criteria, including income level, people leaving the foster care system and residence in low-income neighborhoods. An application process for municipalities to tap into those funds is underway.

one of the country’s first guaranteed income programs in 2019, notes that these payments are not meant to be a sole means of income but aim to provide a buffer for people to break the cycle of poverty.

Mr. Tubbs sees the programs as crucial tools in achieving racial justice for Black people and Latinos.

“The ways in which racism and capitalism have intersected to steal wealth from some communities,” he said, “creates the disparities we see today.”

Damon Jones, an economics professor at the University of Chicago, who has studied such programs, noted that unrestricted cash — including stimulus payments — was used broadly by the federal government to stem the economic devastation of Covid-19.

“Policymakers were surprisingly open to this idea following the onset of the pandemic,” Mr. Jones said. Now the emergency aid programs have largely lapsed, ending what for some was a lifeline.

Opponents argue that guaranteed income programs are too expensive and are counterproductive.

Oren Cass, executive director of American Compass, a conservative-leaning think tank, said the case against guaranteed income was not that people “receiving random windfalls can’t benefit from them — in at least some cases, they can and do.”

Los Angeles pilot program, said the goal of her city’s effort was to promote changes to the ways federal public benefit programs were designed.

“Many, if not all, public benefit program regulations contradict each other, are difficult to navigate and are not focused on creating pathways to greater economic opportunity,” Ms. Marquez said. (Some states, including California, have built-in exemptions to ensure that accepting funding from the pilot programs does not put recipients at risk of losing certain state and federal assistance.)

The Los Angeles program received $38 million from the city. A small portion of the money comes from private funds.

According to city data, one-third of adults in Los Angeles are unable to support their families on income from full-time work alone.

“When you provide resources to families that are struggling, it can give them the breathing room to realize goals that many of us are fortunate enough to take for granted,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said when the program began.

That breathing room came at an opportune time for Ms. Barajas. After graduating from high school in 2017, she pushed aside dreams of college and began working a string of retail gigs — Claire’s, Old Navy, Walmart. She set aside $300 from her paycheck each month to help cover her family’s rent.

“I had to work,” she said. “We had no foundation, no money in our pockets.”

Last year, Ms. Barajas, 22, received funds from an extension of the child tax credit. She used some of the money for essentials like clothes and food.

On a recent afternoon in Chatsworth, a Los Angeles neighborhood, Ms. Barajas reflected on how the money from the guaranteed income program was helping her stay afloat. She moved out of her mother’s apartment in April, after an argument. Since then, she and her daughter, now 15 months old, have slept on friends’ couches and sometimes stayed at pay-by-the-week motels.

For now, they are living at a 90-day shelter for women and children. Ms. Barajas hopes to attend community college this fall, but is focused first on finding a job. Many mornings, she scrolls her iPhone looking at postings before her daughter wakes up.

Most of the money from the guaranteed-income payments goes toward food, diapers and clothing, but she’s trying to save several hundred dollars, enough for a security deposit for an apartment she hopes to move into with a friend.

“I’m one emergency away from having to spend money and then live on the streets and become homeless,” she said. “A lot of people are just hanging on with the smallest amount of wiggle room financially.”

Zohna Everett, who was part of the Stockton program, knows how it feels to live within that razor-thin margin.

Before the program began in 2019, she was driving for DoorDash five days a week, bringing in about $100 a day. Her husband at the time worked as a truck driver, and the rent for their two-bedroom apartment was $1,000. To help earn gas money, Ms. Everett sometimes collected recyclables and turned them in for cash.

“The money was a godsend,” Ms. Everett said of the Stockton program, adding that while enrolled in it, she got a contract job at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., on a production line.

Until then, Ms. Everett, 51, had been in a perpetual state of hustle, never stopping long enough to realize her exhaustion. After the payments started, she noticed she was sleeping better than she had in years.

“A weight truly was lifted from me,” she said.

The payments stopped during the pandemic, but she then received stimulus money from the federal government. She had started to save some money, but after a case of Covid left her with persistent fatigue and breathing problems, she recently took a leave from her Tesla job.

“With this pandemic, there is a lot of struggling,” she said. “There needs to be a permanent solution to help people.”

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Typhoon Batters South Korea; Preparations Minimize Casualties

Typhoon Hinnamnor made impact just weeks after heavy rains around Seoul caused flooding that killed at least 14 people.

The most powerful typhoon to hit South Korea in years on Tuesday dumped 3 feet of rain, destroyed roads and felled power lines, but the death toll of three could have been higher if not for proactive evacuations and closures of schools, officials said.

There was also greater public awareness about the storm and its risks. Typhoon Hinnamnor made impact just weeks after heavy rains around the capital Seoul caused flooding that killed at least 14 people.

Government officials had put the nation on high alert for days as Hinnamnor approached, warning of potentially historic destruction and putting in motion life-saving measures.

After grazing the resort island of Jeju and hitting the mainland near the port city of Busan, Hinnamnor weakened as it blew into waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.

South Korea’s weather agency said Hinnamnor was over the open sea 173 miles northeast of Ulleung island with winds weakened to 71 miles per hour on Tuesday afternoon. It was expected to be downgraded to a tropical cyclone by night as it moves northeast between Russia and the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, the agency said.

However, the damage was still severe in the southern city of Pohang, where two people were found dead and at least seven others were missing after the storm submerged roads and buildings, triggered landslides and flooded a shopping mall.

Cars with smashed windows and trunks open lay scattered on roads like garbage. An entire two-story pool villa was uprooted from the ground and swept away in flash floods. Troops were deployed to assist with rescue and restoration efforts, moving in armored vehicles rolling through streets that turned into chocolate-colored rivers.

Firefighters navigated flooded neighborhoods in rubber boats, rescuing people and their pets. Merchants scrambled to salvage furniture and other belongings at the famous Guryongpo outdoor market, where workers deployed excavators to clear huge piles of debris.

The rain and flooding eroded the foundations of bridges and motorways, which were often broken in chunks or blocked by fallen trees and electricity poles. Factory buildings were tilted, while a shipping container blew away and landed above cars in a parking lot.

“I woke up at 5 a.m. because of the explosive rain, and I got really concerned because the water rose right up to my doorway,” Kim Seong-chang, a Pohang resident, said in an interview with JTBC. “The water was still thigh-high at 7 a.m. and those who parked their cars in the streets were in panic because their vehicles were submerged … Other residents were bucketing out water from their homes.”

The storm dumped more than 41 inches of rain in central Jeju since Sunday, where winds peaked at 96 mph. Southern and eastern mainland regions also had damage — knocked off signboards and roofing, toppled trees, traffic signs and destroyed roads.

In Pohang, a woman in her 70s died after being swept away in flash floods, while another woman in her 60s was found dead in a submerged basement parking lot where searches were ongoing for seven people. Rescue workers had failed to respond to another man who called for help before he went missing, presumably swept by flash floods.

In the neighboring city of Gyeongju, a woman in her 80s died after her home was buried in a landslide. In Ulsan, another southern city, a 25-year-old man was unaccounted for after falling into a rain-swollen stream, according to the Ministry of the Interior and Safety.

Also in Pohang, firefighters extinguished flames that damaged at least three facilities at a major steel plant operated by POSCO. A presidential official, who spoke on condition of anonymity during a background briefing, said officials were investigating the cause of the fires.

Local fire officials said the flames destroyed a building housing electricity equipment and damaged a separate office building and a factory before being put out.

The Safety Ministry said about 3,200 among 4,500 people who had been forced to evacuate returned home Tuesday afternoon. More than 80 homes, buildings and factories were flooded or destroyed, and hundreds of roads, bridges and facilities were damaged.

More than 600 schools were closed or converted to online classes. Workers had managed to restore electricity to 78,890 of the 89,180 households that lost power.

In North Korea, state media reported “all-out efforts” to minimize damage from flooding and landslides. The Korean Central News Agency reported leader Kim Jong-un during government meetings had issued unspecified “detailed tasks” to improve the country’s disaster response capacity but it didn’t elaborate on the plans.

North Korea sustained serious damage from heavy rains and floods in 2020 that destroyed buildings, roads and crops, shocking the country’s already-crippled economy.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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New NIL Benefits Turn College Athletes Into Millionaires

Name, image and likeness deals have taken hold at college campuses across the country, turning some student-athletes into millionaires.

Glance around the parking lot of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center at The Ohio State University this fall and you might come across a $200,000 palace on wheels, the kind of luxury ride more likely to be found in the garages of movie stars, music moguls and titans of business than on a college campus.

That’s assuming Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud hasn’t swapped out his silver Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon for a Bentley or a Porsche, which his name, image and likeness deal with Sarchione Auto Gallery allows him to do every 45 days.

“It’s definitely changed my life for the future,” Stroud said of the several NIL deals to flow his way over the past year, “and I think it’s a jump-start to being a businessman before you get to the NFL, if that’s your path.”

More than a year ago, the NCAA lifted long-standing restrictions on players profiting from their celebrity status, and in some cases it turned elite players such as Stroud and Alabama quarterback Bryce Young into instant millionaires. But the financial benefits for some athletes are being weighed against the possibility that such deals will divide locker rooms, create tension within programs, produce an uneven playing field across college athletics and overwhelm students stretched for time.

“As far as NIL goes in the locker room, you see stuff, but no one ever talks about it,” Oklahoma wide receiver Marvin Mims admitted. “It’s never like, a competition, like, ‘Oh, I got this much more money than you did. I’ve got this deal. You couldn’t get this deal.’ But you do notice the NIL deals that other guys are getting.”

College football has witnessed the biggest impact from NIL legislation, though athletes in all sports have tapped into the sudden cash flow. Of the estimated $1.14 billion that will be poured into the pockets of athletes in Year 2, the NIL platform Opendorse predicts nearly half of it will be spent on the gridiron.

The largest and most prominent deals are going to individual athletes who have successfully leveraged their exceptional ability, potential, influence and exposure: Young’s portfolio is believed to have exceeded $1 million before he ever took a snap for the Crimson Tide, while Alabama teammate Will Anderson signed an NIL deal that allows one of the nation’s best linebackers to drive a $120,000 Porsche Cayenne GTS.

At Texas, running back Bijan Robinson has deals with Raising Cane’s restaurants, C4 Energy drinks and sports streaming platform DAZN, while also forging a partnership with an auto dealership for the use of a Lamborghini. At Notre Dame, tight end Michael Mayer has parlayed his first-round draft stock into deals with clothing brands Levi’s and Rhoback.

They are precisely the types of endorsement contracts, and cozy relationships with boosters and businesses, that once landed players on suspension and programs on probation.

“I feel bad for the older players that didn’t have the opportunity to get money from this, like Braxton Miller, Cardale Jones, Justin (Fields),” Stroud said of the Ohio State quarterbacks who came before him.

“They should have made a killing,” added Stroud, who also works with Value City Furniture, Designer Shoe Warehouse and the trading card company Onyx Authenticated. “It’s just good that players have control now when it comes to money.”

Along with deals signed by individual athletes, collectives have become a major player in the NIL landscape. Some are organized by schools and others by boosters acting on their own, but both distribute money gathered from businesses and donors for everything from endorsements to meet-and-greets and charitable work.

The Foundation, a third-party collective at Ohio State, says it has raised more than $500,000 for Stroud, running back TreVeyon Henderson, wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba and cornerback Denzel Burke. Texas Tech boosters have formed The Matador Club collective, which says it is signing all 85 scholarship players and 20 walk-ons to $25,000 contracts this season in return for appearing at club events and doing a certain amount of community service.

“I think we are well into the seven figures with all of our collectives,” said Morgan Frazier, a former gymnast at Florida and now the general counsel for Student Athlete NIL, which operates collectives at Penn State and several other schools.

Asked where the majority of money is going, she replied: “Overall, definitely football.”

It’s almost impossible to determine how much players are earning from NIL deals, in part because reporting rules differ from state to state. The vast majority are relatively modest — perhaps $50 for a tweet or $100 for an autograph signing on platforms such as Cameo, vidsig and Engage. Rarely do deals exceed $1,000.

But for premier position players at marquee programs, with NFL potential and huge social media followings, the money on the table can be life-changing. Twelve college players have a valuation of at least $1 million entering this season, according to On3, a platform that uses an algorithm to factor such things as social media reach to project NIL worth.

More than 50 players have a valuation of at least $500,000, with most of those playing in the SEC and Big Ten.

“Having an opportunity to change other peoples’ lives, that’s what’s cool about NIL,” said Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford, who founded Limitless NIL, which is believed to be the first agency created by an athlete to help other athletes. Its clients include Nittany Lions receiver Ji’Ayir Brown.

The spoils can come at a price. For one thing, players who may have already struggled to juggle classes and study halls with practice and film sessions now must balance meet-and-greets, autograph sessions and other work.

Then there’s the often-combustible locker room atmosphere, where lines have always existed between haves and have nots. In the past, those might have been between walk-ons and scholarship players. Now, they could be between players driving exotic cars or wearing expensive jewelry and those trying to scrape together rent.

“I know it could be a distraction,” Robinson said, when asked what it’s like driving his Lamborghini to practice. “If a teammate would bring it up, I would just joke around, be like, ‘Oh, man, but it’s not like what you’re getting out there right now.’ Just to not make it about yourself, because it’s not about you.

“If you’re not winning,” Robinson said, “none of us can get these NIL deals.”

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Mississippi Governor Declares Water Emergency For Jackson

By Associated Press
August 30, 2022

Excessive rainfall has worsened problems in a water treatment plant in the capital city.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Monday night that he is declaring a state of emergency after excessive rainfall exacerbated problems in one of Jackson’s water-treatment plants and caused low water pressure through much of the capital city.

The low pressure raised concerns about firefighting and about people’s ability to take showers or flush toilets.

Reeves said that on Tuesday, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency will start distributing both drinking water and non-potable water in the city of 150,000 residents, and the National Guard will be called in to help. The governor said he understands people in Jackson don’t want to have water system problems.

“I get it. I live in the city. It’s not news that I want to hear,” Reeves said. “But we are going to be there for you.”

A swollen Pearl River flooded streets and at least one home in Jackson on Monday, days after storms dumped heavy rain, but water levels were starting to recede. Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said the water did not rise as high as expected. Earlier projections showed about 100 to 150 buildings in the Jackson area faced the possibility of flooding.

“We thank the Lord most of all for sparing so many of our residents,” Lumumba said Monday, hours before the governor spoke about the water system.

The National Weather Service said the Pearl River had crested at about 35.4 feet. That is short of the major flood stage level of 36 feet.

Jackson has two water-treatment plants, and the larger one is near a reservoir that provides most of the city’s water supply. The reservoir also has a role in flood control.

Lumumba — a Democrat who was not invited to the Republican governor’s news conference — said flooding has created additional problems at the treatment plant, and low water pressure could last a few days.

“What I liken it to is if you were drinking out of a Styrofoam cup, someone puts a hole in the bottom of it, you’re steady trying to fill it while it’s steady running out at the bottom,” Lumumba said.

Jackson has longstanding problems with its water system. A cold snap in 2021 left a significant number of people without running water after pipes froze. Similar problems happened again early this year, on a smaller scale. The city has been under a boil-water notice since late July because tests found a cloudy quality to the water that could lead to health problems.

Legislative leaders reacted with alarm to Jackson’s latest water system problems.

“We have grave concerns for citizens’ health and safety,” Republican Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann said in a statement Monday, suggesting the state take a role in trying to solve the issue.

The Republican House speaker, Philip Gunn, said he has been contacted by hospitals, businesses and schools “pleading that something be done to address the water crisis in Jackson.”

As the Pearl River started to rise last week, some Jackson residents started moving furniture and appliances out of their homes, and others stocked up on sandbags. Two years ago, torrential rain caused the river to reach 36.7 feet and Jackson homes in the hardest-hit neighborhoods were filled with dirty, snake-infested floodwaters.

Suzannah Thames owns a three-bedroom rental home in northeast Jackson that flooded with about 3 feet of water in 2020. Thames hired a crew to move appliances, furniture and other belongings out of the home Friday. She said Monday that the home flooded with about 3 to 4 inches inches of water late Sunday.

“I thought it was going to be a lot worse,” Thames said. “I feel very fortunate. I feel very blessed.”

Andre Warner, 54, said Monday that his family had put all their furniture up on cinderblocks inside their home to prepare for possible flooding in another northeast Jackson neighborhood.

Warner said the family had to leave home for two weeks during the 2020 flood. Water did not enter their house then, but electricity was off in their neighborhood because other homes were inundated.

“We had to wait for it to drain and dry out for them to cut the grid back on,” Warner said.

The Mississippi flooding was less severe than flooding that caused death and destruction in Kentucky last month. Those floods left at least 39 dead and robbed thousands of families of all of their possessions. Nearly a month later, residents are wrestling with whether to rebuild at the place they call home or to start over somewhere else.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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