Funds needed to get storm victims out of motels - News, Weather & Sports

Funds needed to get storm victims out of motels

A home being built in Henryville. A home being built in Henryville.

HENRYVILLE, IN (WAVE) - The effort to get homes built for the March 2 storm victims, who are still living in motels, is becoming a little more difficult.

Henryville Community Church and their Henryville Hope program said they are in need of supplies and cash because not everyone who said they would help is stepping up.

Pastor Rich Cheek who is heading up the program said at the beginning, there were big names with big business cards and logos who are no longer around. He said there are some groups who have stuck with it and have made construction on 12 homes happen, but as Pastor Rich said, it could be a lot more with additional help.

Just having an address, even if it is written on a sign in front of a structure that is nothing more than wood, is something a lot of people in Henryville are grateful for. It is something Lori Coats wishes she had. "I am so ready to go home."

Right now, Coats is splitting time between a camper and a motel room after the tornado took out her home in Daisy Hill. "We were in the hospital and the tornado came through while my husband was actually fighting for his life. Then I got the phone call that my home was hit, so now I have no home."

Her home is coming, eventually. It is thanks to the Henryville Community Church's Henryville Hope project. They estimate about 493 buildings were destroyed in the tornado and most of those were homes. They set a small goal of rebuilding 100. So far 12 are in the works, but there are still 88 more to build.

They can not do it without help. One home, everything included, costs about $35,000 and Pastor Rich said finding that money is their biggest issue. They will not start construction without the funding in place. "$1400 is all the drywall for one house. The paint is about $800. The flooring is about $1400."

Those payments have to be made 100 times over. All the families they are working with had no insurance. They need people to fill in the gap between what the church is giving and what the homeowners can put up from payments they got from groups like FEMA, which according to Coats is not much. "$1,000," is what she said she got from FEMA with a laugh. She said all she was able to use it for was setting up her camper.

Pastor Rich said the good news is, they have even got plenty of volunteers. "We could start ten a week if we had the funding." Which would mean Coats could stop living in whatever space she can find and finally have her own address again. "I'm so ready," she said.

If you want to help, and Pastor Rich says any little bit helps, click here. Their web site breaks down where to send money or supplies, how much items cost and what is still needed.

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