Catholic Charities providing aid to residents affected by July flash flood

This story originally appeared in the Jefferson City News Tribune. Read the full story online: Jefferson City News Tribune Website

After an unprecedented amount of rain fell July 19 in Jefferson City, many households were left needing assistance securing new housing, cleaning up their properties and recovering from flash flooding.

Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri connected with affected households within days of the event and has since been providing disaster case management to those who need help recovering.

Alissa Marlow, director of community services for Catholic Charities, said the organization has been working with 34 households in response to the flash flood event.

What that means can vary from household to household, depending on what is needed.

As part of disaster case management, Catholic Charities can provide a variety of assistance, including connecting homeowners with other organizations like the Samaritan Center, The Salvation Army and Common Ground Community Building for furniture vouchers, clothing or food.

They also work with those affected to replace any important documents lost to the flood, like birth certificates or Social Security cards.

Catholic Charities can also provide assistance with gaining employment, if that is causing a barrier to securing new housing.

If homeowners need help with “muck and gut” work to clean up their properties, the organization can help with that too, Marlow said.

“We work with them to identify a recovery plan — what is our ultimate goal and what do they want to do now,” Marlow said. “Then how can we help them meet that goal.”

Marlow said that often means help with housing.

So far, the organization has spent about $7,000 on hotel accommodations for some of those affected as they work to find safe and affordable housing. Marlow said they currently have 16 households in need of long-term help with securing new housing.

“For those that were completely displaced, we are still providing housing accommodation,” Marlow said.

Jefferson City’s lack of affordable housing is creating some delays in that process, but Marlow said the organization will continue to provide temporary housing solutions as long as the residents are working toward the goal of securing their own housing.

Of the 34 households Catholic Charities has provided with case management, some are already on the road to recovery, while about 13 are in need of some “muck and gut” work.

Marlow said many affected residents were connected with the group by the Red Cross shortly after the flood occurred, and some reached out to them directly.

Residents affected by the July 19 flood who may still need assistance can still reach out to Catholic Charities to get started with case management help.

Residents just need to be provide proof the damage was caused by the flooding. Catholic Charities can be reached at 573-635-7719.