Many people are still displaced after more than four months after tornadoes left several homes destroyed in Eldon, Cole County and Jefferson City.
The United Way of Central Missouri and Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri are now coordinating volunteers to help victims of the tornados move into their new homes.
United Way of Central Missouri President Ann Bax said several people remain displaced from the storms. The organizations have been helping tornado victims with the paperwork and financial part of the move-in process, but are now asking for volunteers to help physically move the victims in.
The United Way and several other organizations have created a long-term recovery committee on the recommendation of a national volunteer organization, FEMA and SEMA.
Bax said each individual victim or family works with a case manager from Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri to work through their specific case.
“A disaster survivor’s first layer of support is through insurance, unfortunately many people didn’t have insurance,” Bax said. “But whether you did or didn’t the next layer is FEMA.”
Once the victims who applied for FEMA learned what kind of support that would receive, Catholic Charities takes their case and bring it before the long-term recovery committee to ask for financial and physical support.
Bax said Catholic Charities currently has about 60 cases for long-term recovery, but expects that number to grow to somewhere around 320-350 cases. She said 611 households reported they were affected in Cole and Miller counties.
“Some may have had their houses destroyed, their apartments destroyed, they need to be re-housed,” Bax said. “Then there are other people who just need some help with some furniture, or first month’s rent, or a deposit.”
The United Way raised about $520,000 for tornado relief, more than $320,000 of which will go directly to help victims of the diaster in Cole and Miller counties. Bax said the other money will go to other organizations supporting victims.
“We know that there a still a lot of people who are displaced,” Bax said. “As soon as (The Salvation Army) has someone in the shelter that’s been through the tornado disaster that’s been re-housed, someone else takes their place.”
Bax said as more and more victims are becoming ready to move into homes, the need for volunteers is growing. They are working on putting together a schedule of projects.