American Red Cross Transitions to Long-term Recovery Assistance for Joplin, Closes Shelter

JOPLIN, MO., JUNE 30, 2011 – As the citizens of Joplin continue to recover from the tornado that devastated more than 30% of the city on May 22, 2011, the American Red Cross has transitioned its relief efforts from immediate disaster relief to long-term recovery efforts. It is working with more than 50 local, county, state and federal agencies and organizations to assist with long-term recovery in Joplin and surrounding communities.

As part of the immediate disaster relief effort, immediately after the tornado hit Joplin the Red Cross opened a shelter to house and feed citizens who had been impacted. Over the last few weeks people have been able to find other suitable accommodations and the need for the shelter has decreased. The last few individuals staying at the shelter have now left and the Red Cross has determined that the shelter is no longer needed. As a result the Red Cross shelter in Joplin will close its doors on Friday, July 1, 2011.

“We know that restoring the community to its pre-tornado vitality is a long-term process,” said Debi Meeds, Regional CEO of the American Red Cross Greater Ozarks Chapter. “The American Red Cross was here immediately after the tornado to support our community, and now we are focusing our efforts on a community-wide collaborative effort with other relief organizations to support the longer term effort. The Red Cross will be here for the long-haul, working with our friends and neighbors in Joplin.”

As part of that effort, the Red Cross and other relief organizations have opened a Resource Center at 1110 E. Seventh St., Suite 13, in Joplin. Citizens affected by the tornado can receive disaster recovery assistance there, including health services and mental health assistance, as well as recovery case management.

The Center is open Monday through Friday from 9am till 5pm and on Saturdays from 9am till 3 pm. It is closed on Sundays. Over the 4th of July weekend the Center will be closed on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday but will reopen on Tuesday, July 5. Information can also be obtained by calling 866-206-0256.
The local Greater Ozarks Chapter of the Red Cross will also continue to respond to local emergencies, such as house fires, and provide the blood services, lifesaving skills teaching and preparedness educational efforts to our community that it has grown to depend on.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit http://www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

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