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Time running out on tornado assistance program; who has gotten help?

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A year after the Memorial Day tornadoes, some damaged areas show remarkable recovery, including Westbrooke Village, an apartment complex that took a direct hit and is rebuilding.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

EDITOR’S NOTE: Sixteen tornadoes smashed through our community on Memorial Day 2019. Since that day, the Dayton Daily News has been on the ground reporting on the devastation and the work of recovery. Now, one year later, we are digging into the obstacles that remain, how the coronavirus pandemic has affected rebuilding and how communities have been changed forever. Go here for more of this coverage.

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Time is running out for homeowners to apply for assistance with repairs or rebuilding costs not covered by insurance.

Tornado-impacted homeowners have until Aug. 1 to call United Way’s Helplink number at 211 to see if they are eligible for free assistance through the Miami Valley Long-Term Recovery Operations Group.

DAYTON STRONG: Memorial Day tornadoes one year later - Slow road to recovery

An assessment by the Miami Valley Regional Planning Council found large numbers of people in hard-hit areas haven’t reached out for assistance, which can include lining up grants, low-interest loans, household goods or volunteer labor to assist with repairs.

As of May 12, the case management system had opened 840 cases. A vast majority, 824, entered the system by calling United Way’s 211 Helplink number where survivors were screened and assigned a recovery navigator to help them access needed resources. Currently, 354 cases remain active.

 

Of the cases opened, 418 — or a little more than half — were homeowners who sought help. Of the homeowners, 343 requested help with repairs — and in some cases, needed homes entirely rebuilt.

Many callers had multiple needs.

The top requests were for:

• household appliances — 359

• repair/reconstruction — 343

• rental/deposit assistance — 298

• food assistance — 261

• utility assistance — 247

• Assistance with FEMA benefits (163) and other benefit access (111)

Of the households that applied, 358 had children under 18 and 222 of those were headed by single parents or guardians. More than a quarter, 221, of the households included members age 60 and older, according to case management records.