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Working Together to Create a Way Forward: Four Years after the Joplin Tornado

Thanks to generous support from the bi-state region and communities across the country, The Salvation Army has provided $5.05 million in aid to assist in Joplin recovery efforts following the F5 tornado that devastated the city on May 22, 2011.

From the onset of the disaster, The Salvation Army, which has a strong presence in the community and a history of service in Joplin for more than 125 years, provided emergency food and shelter immediately following the tornado. Continuing ever since, The Salvation Army has provided assistance in restoring homes, securing mortgages, renting apartments and anything else necessary to get survivors’ lives back on track.

Key to these rebuilding and healing efforts has been partnerships with Joplin Habitat for Humanity and Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri (CFSWMO). As part of the overall aid The Salvation Army has provided, both organizations received grants in the amounts of $800,000 and $1,750.000, respectively.


An Update on Our Work with Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri

The CFWMO has approved several specific recovery projects using The Salvation Army funds. Below is a list of grants made since July 23, 2014:

 Grantee Amount Date Made Purpose
 Joplin-R-VIII schools $262,000 July 29th Project Hope – provide counseling to middle & high school students
 Rebuild Joplin $100,000 July 29th Housing construction/rehab
 Rebuild Joplin $250,000 August 15th Housing construction/rehab
 Catholic Charities of Southwest Missouri  $441,000  August 15th Home repairs
 Leffen Center of Autism $140,000 August 15th Rebuild their physical space
 United Way of Southwest Missouri  $40,000  September 24th  Circles program — counseling
 Crosslines  $40,000 September 24th  Food for families still in need
 Joplin Family YMCA  $20,108  December 3rd Additional assistance in food and support for children in its programs
 Hearts & Hammers $50,000 March 23rd Housing repairs
 Rebuild Joplin  -50,000  Monies returned unused
 Side-by-Side  $25,000  Only committed  Long-range community plan
TOTAL COMMITTED TO DATE  $1,318,108

The remaining $431,892 is in the Joplin Recovery Fund, which is administered by the organization and accepts applications on a rolling basis for tornado recovery projects and programs. Several needs still remain for Joplin. The grants committee continues to vet requests.


An Update on Our Work with Joplin Habitat for Humanity

The remaining $431,892 is in the Joplin Recovery Fund, which is administered by the organization and accepts applications on a rolling basis for tornado recovery projects and programs. Several needs still remain for Joplin. The grants committee continues to vet requests.

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St. Louis Sluggers, a group of retired tradesmen from the St. Louis area, made their sixth trip to Joplin to help with framing the third Joplin Habitat for Humanity house in collaboration with The Salvation Army.


Rebuild Efforts In-Progress, Five New Homes Under-Construction

The Joplin Habitat for Humanity partnership with The Salvation Army, which was announced in December 2014, is quickly moving forward with the construction of five additional homes with various ground-breaks scheduled throughout the summer and fall months.

The fourth house is for the Hunter family, who was displaced by the tornado. Ms. Hunter and her three children were living at the Hampshire Terrace Apartments on May 22, 2011.  They were all at home when the tornado hit and destroyed their apartment, but they were very fortunate to escape without injury.

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Home number seven will be for a single mother of four children. Across the street from the seventh home is Cunningham Park, which has been beautifully restored following the tornado. On the south side of the street is a stunning memorial to Mercy Hospital. This home will be for a single mother of 4 children.

As a preventative measure against future tornadoes, building tornado shelters remain a top priority of the partnership. The 2011 storm damaged nearly 7,500 homes, hundreds of businesses and killed 161 people. So far, 16 shelters have been installed with seven scheduled for past homeowners along with current and upcoming homes being constructed.

Every penny raised for Joplin recovery is being reinvested in the community. With the strong partnership between The Salvation Army, Joplin Habitat for Humanity, Community Foundation of the Ozarks / Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri and their respective management teams, rebuild efforts will hopefully create a stronger and more resilient community.

Keep up-to-date with our long-term recovery efforts in Joplin by visiting stlsalvationarmy.org.