JEFFERSON CITY- Two years ago, an EF-3 tornado slammed into Missouri’s capital city in the middle of the night.
“All I remember was feeling the house shake and I just grabbed my kids and went down to the basement,” Jessica Green said. “We were down there for a little bit and then when we came back up, we heard people screaming asking if everybody was okay.”
More than 650 families dealt with significant or total damage to their homes. In the months since, organizations such as United Way and Habitat for Humanity have been helping communities in Jefferson City rebuild.
“We have a long-term committee set up and we are still helping families out from the tornado,” Ann Bax, President of United Way of Central Missouri, said. “About 70% of the disaster survivors were renters, so rehousing them was certainly a priority, but we are still helping some families still find housing.”
To commemorate the disaster, United Way and Habitat for Humanity held a press conference Friday morning at one of the homes rebuilt as part of their Road to Recovery effort.
“A year ago, we were able to raise a wall for one of these homes, and now there are families living it,” Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin said. “United Way has really taken a lead on organizing and coordinating so many of our wonderful groups in town.”
United Way, in a partnership with Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri, is still working with families and members of the community to help rehouse people.
“Looking at that long-term case management, we are working on repair-rebuilds and also looking for safe, sanitary secure housing,” Melissa Lee of Catholic Charities said.
Green said she’s thankful that Habitat for Humanity and United Way helped build her a new home.
“The biggest thing United Way has helped, is partnering with Habitat to build my home,” Green said. “So they [Habitat for Humanity] opened up their application, I applied, we got approved and then boom! Now we have our home.”