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Rebuild Joplin organization prepares to close - KOAM TV 7

Rebuild Joplin organization prepares to close

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One of the most recognized Joplin tornado relief organizations is preparing to close.  Rebuild Joplin will unveil its last rebuilt home on December sixth.

"We're really excited that we're finally at the finish line," says Rebuild Joplin co-founder Jerrod Hogan.

Hogan, and the City of Joplin itself, have both come a long ways since May 22nd, 2011.

"No matter where you looked, there was a need.  Somebody needed medical attention.  Somebody needed food or shelter," says Hogan.

Hurt from the tornado did not discriminate.  As it turned out, relief from the tornado had no limits, either.  Some say Rebuild Joplin became the face of rebuilding Joplin.

"To get people home, and then when we're done with that we'll go away, I think it set us up for something that people wanted to be involved in.  Other non-profits were happy to partner with us because we weren't going to be here in 20 years competing," says Hogan.

165 Houses have been built by the organization for those in financial need.  Rebuild Joplin has helped 180 homeowners and families.  Then, there were volunteers from across the nation.  Twelve-thousand of them.  When Rebuild Joplin began three and a half years ago, the organization received ten applications a week from tornado survivors wanting housing assistance.

"It dropped to ten, to five, to two.  And lately, there just hasn't been an influx of applications.  Its helped us realize that the mission that we propped up to do is basically complete," says Hogan.

There is still a single-family housing need in Joplin.

If you count the number of dwellings, then we have rebuilt all of those.  We have many more apartments than we did before the tornado," says Bryan Wicklund, a City of Joplin building official.

And though Rebuild Joplin will soon be no more...

"If somebody comes in tomorrow and says we still need help, then we have a plan in place to make sure we're referring them out to other organizations that could help them," says Hogan.

The spirit of Joplin will continue.

The City of Joplin did not provide us information about how many people are still on a waiting list for the City's rebuild housing assistance program, called J-HAP.

The Rebuild Joplin organization will officially stop operations on December eighth.


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