Harlem based group looks to help Selma rebuild from tornado

Published 7:25 am Thursday, April 6, 2023

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A  New York-based non-profit organization is ready to help the City of Selma rebuild and recover from the January 12 tornado.

Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement toured Selma with city officials on Tuesday.

HCCI CEO and President Dr. Malcolm Punter said the company was invited by Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. and the Selma City Council to visit the area.

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Selma City Council President Billy  Young said that HCCI is coming to Selma and work on creating affordable housing in the area.

At Monday’s Selma Rotary Club meeting, City of Planning Director Danielle Wooten reported that 1,800 families being displaced and over 400 businesses were impacted from the January 12 tornado

Punter described the process, which involves other parts of government beyond Selma.

“We’re going to need partnership from the local government, the federal government and most importantly the people who live in Selma,” Punter said.

Punter said that Selma is a big reason for the company’s existence.

“Selma has a history of Civil Rights in this country,” Punter said. “What HCCI has been able to do couldn’t be possible without Selma fighting for Civil Rights in the 1960’s.”

Rev. Dr. Keith Roberson, HCCI Chairman Board of Directors, said it’s about helping communities heal from natural disasters.

“It’s all about us seeing people in need and helping people in need,” Roberson said. “We feel badly for Selma going through the tornado in January and the senseless murders in March.”