JOPLIN RESILIENCY AND SUPPORT STILL LINGERS
As part of the Joplin community, The Salvation Army joins other survivors this week in commemorating the passing of five years since one of the deadliest tornadoes in US history struck the Southwest Missouri area.
Continuing in its commitment to the survivors of the Joplin Tornado, The Salvation Army Midland Division is nearing the final allocation of recovery funds raised from the tornado that struck Joplin on May 22,2011. In all, The Salvation Army raised $6.8 million in donations on behalf of survivors of the deadly storm. In the immediate aftermath of the destruction, The Salvation Army spent more than $2.5 million on emergency disaster relief for survivors including food, hydration and basic necessities like clothing and diapers. The Salvation Army also provided emotional and spiritual care to survivors and first responders. The remaining $5.1* million was committed to long term recovery initiatives which would directly benefit survivors. The distribution of these funds is now almost complete.
The Salvation Army Midland Division has worked with the city of Joplin and partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Joplin and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks in grants to meet the needs of families affected by the tornado. The grants with Habitat for Humanity helped to complete the following projects:
- Construction of seven homes completed in February 2016
- Construction of 27 tornado shelters completed in 2015
- Repair and remodeling of homes as part of A Brush of Kindness program completed in December 2015
- Homeowner assistance to support maintenance and ownership from the HELP program
The grants to the Community Foundation of the Ozarks/Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri resulted in the following projects:
- Project Hope counseling at Joplin R-VIII school district
- Housing construction and rehab for Rebuild Joplin
- Home repairs by Catholic Charities of Southwest Missouri
- Reconstruction of the Leffen Center for Autism
- Circles counseling program by the United Way of Southwest Missouri
- Food for families in need by Crosslines
- Food and program support for children in the Joplin Family YMCA
- Housing repairs by Hearts and Hammers
- Long range community planning by Side by Side
- Construction of a new medical school by Joplin Med School Alliance
“The Salvation Army has been an active part of the Joplin community for over 125 years,” said Lt. ColonelLonneal Richardson, The Salvation Army Midland Divisional Commander. “We are in the four-state region before, during and after times of disaster. From the beginning, The Salvation Army focused on immediate emergency relief and then, long term recovery efforts after the devastating tornado that killed more than 160 people and destroyed more than 7,500 homes and 500 businesses. Even today, the region remains in a rebuilding mode.”
The Salvation Army Midland Division continues to assist survivors of the Joplin tornado today. Roughly $1.4 million in funds remain to be distributed. These funds are to be allocated to several planned projects, including:
- Continued funding of Habitat for Humanity projects
- Continued support for the efforts of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks/Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri
- Increased funding for The Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope program, which uses intensive case work to help families break the intergenerational cycle of poverty.
- The construction of a facility to house The Salvation Army’s current Emergency Disaster Services equipment and supplies, and to expand capacity for Joplin and the four-state region
*The total funds spent include an initial grant from The Salvation Army’s Central Territorial Headquarters, located in Hoffman Estates, IL. In total, The Salvation Army will have spent more money than was raised for efforts in Joplin. The Salvation Army Joplin thrift store was initially completed just days before the May 2011 Tornado hit Joplin. While the thrift store was a total loss, it was rebuilt using insurance money and a mortgage, not monetary donations intended for Joplin tornado survivors. The thrift store mortgage will be paid by revenue from the thrift store.