All homeowners face some problems now and then — a leaky spot in the ceiling, a drafty window, a bathroom that isn't accessible to those who use a wheelchair.
But it's hard to address those issues when you can't afford to fix them. Equally daunting is the situation facing renters who want to be homeowners but can't afford it.
So how does the Joplin community respond to housing problems?
For three decades, Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity has been a part of the solution. That's 30 years of helping people who could not afford a traditional mortgage obtain their own home through sweat equity and volunteer assistance.
The nonprofit, which celebrated its 30th anniversary earlier this week, is close to finishing its 159th and 160th houses. A majority of those have been built in the years following the 2011 tornado.
Imagine that: 160 families in our community have a safe place to live thanks to Habitat.
Looking ahead to its next 30 years and beyond, Habitat now seeks to serve a wider array of people who need assistance, offering new construction, light home repairs and major rehabilitation projects to eligible residents.
"We want to be the people that can come and help where help is needed," Scott Clayton, the nonprofit's executive director, told the Globe earlier this week.
That's a mission we fully support and applaud. Congratulations to Joplin Habitat for 30 successful years, and our thanks for working so hard to make our community a better place to live, literally, for everyone.
Day of Action
Speaking of making this a better place, employees of local businesses canvassed Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas recently for the United Way's annual Day of Action, a widespread volunteer effort.
Working at local United Way partner agencies and nonprofits, volunteers tackled a variety of tasks, from cleaning and painting to landscaping and organizing activities.
The result is a cleaner, fresher community that's ready to serve some of our most vulnerable and at-risk neighbors. The power of some dedicated volunteers, a little bit of elbow grease and a commitment to make a difference can't be overstated. Kudos all around.