1 week after Kokomo tornado, families still trying to get back on feet

One week after a tornado ripped through Kokomo, families are still trying to get back on their feet. (WISH photo)

KOKOMO, Ind. (WISH) – One week after a tornado ripped through Kokomo, families are still trying to get back on their feet.

Wednesday, the Red Cross opened a new service center to help them.

More than 30 people met privately with Red Cross workers Wednesday. The Red Cross used rooms in the Kokomo Events Center to talk to people about their most urgent needs.

For Amanda Ward and her son, the most urgent need is long term housing. The tornado destroyed their apartment.

“I’m so grateful to the Red Cross,” Ward said. “They gave us a list of apartment places to call and I’ve been calling.”

The goal is to help Kokomo rebuild.

Red Cross workers are directing people to agencies that can help with storm cleanup, housing, financial assistance and mental health.

“These families have endured a lot,” Red Cross worker, Kristina Chapman said. “As you’re working with these families, it’s tough to hear what they’ve endured through this.”

The Wards are two of twelve people staying at the local Red Cross shelter in the events center.

George Brown, who said the storm damaged his roof, also showed up at the events center Wednesday.

But Brown wasn’t looking for help. He asked Red Cross workers how he can help.

“I got damage three years ago and I know what it’s like to be without a lot of stuff at your home.”

The generosity of Brown and others is keeping the Wards optimistic.

“I just want to thank the Red Cross and all the people that gave us food and shelter and cots and blankets.”

The Red Cross said they’ll keep the shelter open as long as it’s needed.

Case workers will continue meeting with people at the events center.

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