The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 25, 2012

Arc of Ozarks to begin construction of housing for disabled in Joplin

By Debby Woodin
Globe Staff Writer

JOPLIN, Mo. — The Arc of the Ozarks is about to begin construction of a new duplex for disabled residents to replace a home that was destroyed in the 2011 tornado.

Travis Gaston, program director of the organization, said he wants people to know “how excited we are and how much help the community has been” in providing for the project. “We’ve received a lot of funding from organizations to get this project going.”

The cost of the project is $260,000. Funding was provided by private and organization donations, along with a $100,000 grant from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and a $25,000 grant from city of Joplin’s Tornado First Response Fund.

It will be the home for three men whose house near Joplin High School was destroyed.

The duplex will have four bedrooms for people with dual diagnosis disabilities. It will be constructed to enable treatment that allows them to interact with the community.

The men have been living in a rented duplex near Carthage but need to be in Joplin, Gaston said.

“They’ll be closer to support here in Joplin and the staff they need,” he said. They receive about 300 miles of transportation a month to go to medical appointments, do grocery shopping and other errands, and attend recreational events or social activities. Living outside the city has curtailed their ability to be mobile, Gaston said.

A groundbreaking will be staged at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the site of the duplex, 3128 S. Oliver Ave. The ceremony will include John Foley, president and CEO of The Arc of the Ozarks; Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean; Tim Dygon, director of renovations for the Arc; Gaston, the Arc program director; and Deborah Shantz Hart, contractor for the project.

Six months

CONSTRUCTION WILL BEGIN in December and will take about six months, officials said.