The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

October 9, 2012

FEMA extends temporary housing for those displaced by tornado

JOPLIN, Mo. — With a Nov. 9 deadline looming for residents to leave FEMA’s temporary housing, Tuesday’s extension of that deadline to June 9 of next year was the news that Carla Simpson had been hoping to hear.

“It’s awesome,” she said. “It gives me more time to find a job and a place to live. I was really getting worried about where I was going to go.”

Simpson, who has lived in a Federal Emergency Management Agency trailer south of the Joplin Regional Airport since August of last year, had a job doing debris removal in Joplin, but it ended in late July. She is doing job searches now and filling out rental applications, but she cannot afford to move without first having a job.

“That’s why I’m so glad we got the extension,” she said. She lost her home near Joplin High School in the May 22, 2011, tornado.

Rebecca Sherman, her husband and their four children had lived at 20th Street and Moffet Avenue before the tornado. They, too, have lived in temporary housing since August of last year.

“This extension is a good thing for us because we have been looking for a place to rent, but the rent has been too high,” she said. “Our income is too low. We’re the last trailer in our area. I just hope we’re not the last ones out here.”

FEMA has approved the city’s request to extend the deadline for those displaced by the tornado an additional seven months, to June 9, 2013, according to a news release from U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

There are 166 families living in the FEMA temporary housing. The number had reached 586 families after the tornado; 420 families have found houses or apartments in which to live.

The Joplin City Council approved making the request in an 8-1 vote last month. Councilman Bill Scearce voted against asking for the extension.

City Planner Troy Bolander made the case to the City Council, saying the extension request was based on city projections that enough affordable housing would be built by June to accommodate those who have not yet been able to find permanent housing.

He said caseworkers indicated that 99 more families would be able to relocate soon, but that 67 other families need affordable housing that is now being built.

“It just goes to how cooperation between local, state and federal agencies has to be done,” Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean said by phone on Tuesday. She said that despite the housing that has been built, Joplin housing is not where it was before the tornado.

“We realize there are still people who have no place to go,” she said. “This just gives them a little extra time.”

FEMA has the authority, beginning next month, to begin charging families rent based on income, the mayor said.

City Manager Mark Rohr welcomed the news in a statement he emailed to the Globe.

“I was pleased with their decision to grant the extension,” Rohr said. “It is a practical matter, as we have individuals that still need assistance.”

The request had the support of McCaskill and Gov. Jay Nixon. McCaskill, in a letter to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, urged the agency to extend its contract to provide temporary housing with the city.

“These resources are another important step in ensuring the Joplin community has the tools they need to rebuild,” McCaskill said in the news release. “I continue to be amazed by this community’s resiliency and I’m determined to keep fighting to ensure they have the resources necessary to rebuild their homes and businesses and build an even stronger Joplin.”

Federal assistance

THE TOTAL AMOUNT of federal resources that have been provided for tornado recovery in Joplin exceeds $250 million, according to U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Text Only
Top Stories
  • r072414msw.jpg VIDEO: Carterville company expands to third generation

    What began as Ray “Mac” McCoy’s side job in his home 55 years ago has grown not only in square footage and reach, but in generations. This summer, a third generation took over the reins of MSW — Mac’s Specialty Woodwork — that now exceeds 90,000 square feet and creates custom furniture for chain restaurants coast to coast.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • r072314techcenter4.jpg Southeast Kansas schools, businesses get behind new technical center

    When Galena Superintendent Brian Smith looks at the millions of dollars of construction projects going on in his district, not to mention similar projects underway in Joplin, Carthage and elsewhere, he sees the need to train masons.

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • Landfill opponents seek answers

    The Baxter Springs High School auditorium was filled with hundreds of Cherokee County residents Thursday night as Galena city officials answered questions and listened to comments regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 24, 2014

  • Neosho athletes bring home silver

    For 19-year-old Dominque Dechant, it was the trip of a lifetime. She and three other athletes from Neosho traveled last month to Newark, New Jersey, as part of the Missouri Special Olympics girls basketball team.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hospital Shooting_Cast.jpg Doctor fired back at gunman in hospital attack

    A doctor grazed by gunfire from a patient who had entered his office in a suburban hospital’s psychiatric unit stopped him by returning fire with his own gun and injuring him, authorities said.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 3 To Get Ready

    Three things coming your way in Friday’s Joplin Globe.

    July 24, 2014

  • APTOPIX Vatican Pope.jpg Pope meets Sudanese woman sentenced to death

    Pope Francis met privately Thursday with a Sudanese woman who refused to recant her Christian faith in the face of a death sentence, blessing the woman as she cradled her infant daughter born just weeks ago in prison.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Box Turtle.jpg Getting reacquainted with garden dwellers

    Visitors to my garden this week find me covered in dust and dirt with bits of wood, leaves and who knows what else caught in my hair; stinky, sweaty gloves; grimy sweat pants and rivulets of dirty perspiration running down my face.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • mug_sarah-coyne-112613-c.jpg Sarah Coyne: Older kids still find joy in toys

    When she crawled under her covers, she buried her head in her pillow. Then she looked up at me and whispered, "But what if I can't stop thinking about that spider?"

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072414_annie1.JPG Child's play: Kids comprise the cast of 'Annie Jr.'

    The kids are getting a kick out of playing adults. While most of the main characters in "Annie Jr." are orphan children, some, such as Daddy Warbucks, Miss Hannigan and President Roosevelt, are squarely past adulthood.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo