Rebuilt after tornadoes, Habitat for Humanity and the Miami Valley Long-Term Recovery Operations Group turned the keys of a home back over to its grateful owners Friday.
A Memorial Day 2019 tornado left unlivable the Old North Dayton home of Dorothy and Chris Johnson.
“I’m just glad to be here. I appreciate everybody’s help that we’re able to get back in," said Chris, a Vietnam War veteran. "We moved here 24 years ago and it looks better now than it did when we first moved in here. So they did a great job, everybody involved. I’m just grateful for them.”
Their home on Macready Avenue built in 1926 was structurally damaged, its siding stripped from the house and its windows blown out.
“We went to the basement and were hit by broken glass,” Dorothy said.
The Johnsons were forced to find another place to live for over a year.
They applied for assistance with the repairs and work started in March. Funding was provided by the Miami Valley Long-Term Recovery Operations Group, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton through a partnership with CareSource. Habitat for Humanity managed the project, however, getting the work completed required Habitat volunteers as well as dedicated groups from SouthBrook Christian Church Disaster Response Team and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.
As the house progressed, the need for more work was uncovered and the home got electrical and plumbing upgrades as well as the addition of new insulation. Logan Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. donated and installed a new HVAC system in the home. Workers also moved the laundry from the basement to the first floor. Volunteers tackled the additional construction required and a stackable washer and dryer were donated from the Dayton ReStore.
“Habitat’s mission has always been centered around providing stability through homeownership,” said Norm Miozzi, Dayton Habitat’s executive director in a news release. “Helping families like the Johnsons recover from the tornadoes helps re-stabilize more than their lives and their neighborhood. It keeps Dayton strong.”
The Johnson’s home is the 17th tornado damaged house to be repaired by Habitat for Humanity in partnership with the long-term tornado recovery group.
Dorothy Johnson said they have some loose ends to tie up at their current rental house but hope to move back permanently next month.
“We are very thankful to God for protecting us and that we’re still here to talk about it,” she said.
Photographer Jim Noelker contributed to this story.
Tornado recovery help and volunteer opportunities remain available
Individuals who still need help recovering from the tornadoes can now call Catholic Social Services directly to be connected to a disaster case manager at 937-223-7217, extension 1137.
Individuals and organizations interested in volunteering, contributing professional services or money towards the recovery efforts can visit MVstrong.org.