The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

May 8, 2012

Joplin Recovery Fund gives grants to Lafayette House, Catholic Charities

JOPLIN, Mo. — Amy Jump watched intently Tuesday as two movers carried her new coffee table from the furniture truck through the sliding glass doors and into her new home at 2424 S. Joplin Ave.

“We’re not going to have room for all of this stuff,” she declared as the movers set the wood table down in the living room. A three-piece leather sofa sectional and two end tables already crowded the room.

Jump, 33, considered it a good problem. The home of Jump, her husband and three children was destroyed last May 22. The family purchased furniture in September in anticipation of moving back in by Thanksgiving, but moving day was delayed after she ran into contractor problems. The Jumps turned to Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri for help.

“You might be able to make it all fit,” encouraged Norma Hernandez, the disaster case manager from Catholic Charities. She has been working with the Jump family since January to get the house built. “Just wait until all of the furniture is in. Then, we will see what we can do.”

Hernandez is one of nine disaster case managers working for Catholic Charities in Joplin and helping families navigate the web of federal, state and local assistance. The organization received a grant Tuesday for $42,374.50 from the Joplin Recovery Fund to hire a 10th case manager to help storm victims. The grant covers the case manager’s salary and benefits for one year.

“The case manager piece is so important because you need to make sure that there isn’t a duplication of services,” said Michelle Ducre, director of Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri. “They also look at the whole family and the whole person, and connect them with the services and resources that they need.”

Jump said having a disaster case manager from Catholic Charities to help get the construction of her home back on track was critical. The last major hurdle is getting utilities connected. The family hopes to be settled into its new house by the time Joplin marks the one-year anniversary of the tornado on May 22.

“I’ll just be so glad when we get to move in and don’t have to do anything,” Jump said.

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