For release June 15, 2016
CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF SOUTHERN MISSOURI WORKS WITH VOLUNTEERS
TO REPAIR HOMES DAMAGED IN HISTORIC WINTER FLOODS
Hundreds of individuals were impacted by the historic flooding that occurred this last December and January. In the last two months, Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri (CCSOMO) staff and volunteers reached out by phone call to hundreds of families throughout southern Missouri who had applied for FEMA assistance, to identify those who continue to have unmet needs. Those called included 481 Greene County residents. Disaster case managers identified the most vulnerable who were in need of assistance, and made home visits to assess the severity of damage and the type of repairs that were needed.
Working in coordination with the local COAD (Community Organizations Active in Disasters), CCSOMO Volunteer Coordinator Jill Bryant began contacting and planning for volunteer groups to help with the repairs.
This week the first volunteer group arrived in Springfield to begin repairs. The group, from the First Christian Reformed Church of Oskaloosa, Iowa, was referred through World Renew, and arrived in Springfield on Sunday evening for four days of intensive work on nine home projects. The group includes eight adults and 19 older teenagers. They are staying at Catholic Campus Ministry on the MSU Campus.
Phyllis Jordan is one homeowner who was in need of assistance to repair the severe damage to her basement in southwest Springfield. The flooring and sheet rock were destroyed beyond repair. The group tore out the flooring and replaced it, replaced sheet rock, painted walls, and sprayed for mold. Phyllis was overjoyed. “I’ve almost got goose bumps! I can’t believe what’s happening!” she said. Phyllis said it had been a rough six months. In addition to the flooding, Phyllis is the only caregiver for her 85-year-old husband whose dementia has significantly worsened, and she broke her knee this week that will immobilize her for six weeks. “I hadn’t had anything happen good for so long, and now this. I hope everyone is as grateful as I am!” she said.
Phyllis had a great time visiting with the volunteer group. “I’m an Iowa farm girl myself and we talked 4H and all kinds of things. Don’t tell me teenagers are bad today! I just love them!”
The second round of volunteer groups is scheduled to arrive the first week in July, with multiple groups scheduled throughout the summer.
Homeowner Phyllis Jordan with volunteers who repaired her home damaged by winter flooding.
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Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri is a faith-based social services agency that serves individuals and families in need, regardless of faith, race or nationality, throughout the 39 southernmost counties in Missouri. CCSOMO’s broad range of services in southwest Missouri include disaster response, reconstruction and long-term recovery; homelessness prevention; supportive services for veterans and their families; housing and financial counseling; and LifeHouse, a crisis maternity home located in Springfield.