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Long-Term Recovery Committee continues to see funding requests

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

After the 2019 tornado, a committee quickly formed to help distribute grants to those rebuilding or repairing properties.by Michael Shine May. 23 2021 @ 12:05amstory.lead_photo.captionIn this May 23, 2019 file photo, tornado damage is seen in Jefferson City, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

After the 2019 tornado, a committee quickly formed to help distribute grants to those rebuilding or repairing properties.

Two years later, the Long-Term Recovery Committee is continuing its work, with committee chairwoman Ann Bax saying the number of people applying for funds has dropped significantly over the past two years, but funding requests are still coming in.

“It’s those individuals with larger and more complex needs (for the most part now),” Bax said. “Most of them have probably gotten FEMA and have gotten insurance maybe. FEMA really draws the process out because we can’t help them until we know they’ve utilized their FEMA dollars correctly.”

The United Way, of which Bax serves as president and CPO, had quickly worked to aid in recovery after the tornado hit, taking on donation management along with the aid of other groups around the city.

“That’s not our expertise, but our expertise is having partnerships and relationships here in our community to find what’s necessary,” she said.

Those connections turned into the recovery committee, which started finding people short-term, intermediate-term and long-term housing depending on the person’s need.

Right after the tornado, Bax said, the group received $300,000 in donations for those efforts.

Over the last several months, there has been a few new cases, she said. One of the common things the committee is seeing, she said, are people who thought they wouldn’t need help, but later realized they do.

“We feel like that means we’ve done a good job,” she said.

The committee members don’t see who applied for funding or the property. Case workers with Catholic Charities meet with an applicant, but otherwise, everything remains confidential.

“Anonymity and confidentiality are of the utmost importance,” Bax said.

To apply for assistance, contact the United Way at 573-636-4100 or Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri at 573-632-0017.