The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

March 20, 2013

Our View: Finding a way home

The Joplin Globe

— More than 7,500 homes were destroyed on May 22, 2011, in an EF-5 tornado that knew no mercy.

Fortunately, the people of this nation did.

Because of the outpouring of help and the determination of the people who live in the Joplin area, only 32 mobile homes are still occupied out of the 586 that were brought to Joplin by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Of those remaining, 21 families say they can be out by the June 7 federal deadline.

On Monday, the Joplin City Council made sure the remaining 11 families will have a place to go. Under the plan, the mobile homes occupied by the 11 families will be donated by FEMA and moved to privately owned mobile home parks. Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri will then work with the families to help them find permanent homes.

On Tuesday, Rebuild Joplin cut the ribbon on the 59th house that has been rebuilt or repaired for a tornado-affected family. And Rebuild Joplin continues to seek others who may need help, even if they have been denied by another agency. The organization is even launching a program that seeks to turn renters into homeowners.

And, of course, Habitat for Humanity homes have been a haven for many.

Finally, we must thank the thousands and thousands of volunteers who have done so much for the community.

Joplin has made finding homes for the displaced a top priority since the tornado.

It has been the right thing to do.

In fact, it’s been remarkable.