The last residents in the FEMA mobile homes have moved out - KOAM TV 7

The last residents in the FEMA mobile homes have moved out


The FEMA mobile homes brought to Joplin shortly after the 2011 tornado are now empty.

FEMA says at the peak of disaster response in Joplin there were 586 families living in the mobile homes.

The original deadline for people to move out of the mobile homes was in November 2012 but FEMA pushed the deadline to June 9, 2013.

Nobody is allowed to live there anymore, including James Morris, who says many of his belongings are outside his former FEMA mobile home.

"A little distraught," Morris says.  "They said we had to have it out of the trailer by 9 a.m., or the sheriff would come and forcibly remove us and everything would be lost."

Morris and two other families stayed in FEMA housing until the deadline to move out came.

A social services organization found him and his wife an apartment in Joplin but the organization still needs to approve the move.

"There was a lot of close coordination between us and all those partner agencies, Catholic Church Charities, in doing our best to make sure there was some option available for them," says Michael Cappannari of FEMA.

"I'll have a lot more opportunity to find jobs, everything is there so, I wont be so isolated," says Morris.

Morris is thankful he and his dog have had a place to stay since the Joplin tornado, but soon, he'll have to say goodbye to his best friend, Tazer, because his new apartment doesn't allow pets.

"We've even had him diagnosed as a comfort dog, service animal," says Morris.

Morris knows it'll be a hard transition but one for the best, as FEMA's direct role in Joplin has come to an end.

"Certainly our footprint is not going to be as big as it was prior," says Cappannari.

Morris says he's going to get permission from Social Services to move into his new apartment within about seven to 10 days.  In the meantime, he and his wife plan on staying at Souls Harbor homeless shelter.

The land near Joplin's airport where many mobiles homes were located may be used next for a new Joplin Fire and Police training academy.

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