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As the city of Joplin tries to rebuild after being hit by a devastating tornado just two and a half weeks ago, the recovery process was met with some good news Tuesday afternoon. KSMU’s Justin Lux traveled out to Joplin and has the details.
Governor Jay Nixon was in Joplin Tuesday afternoon to reinforce Missouri’s support for the area’s rebuilding efforts at every stage of the process.
“We are about the task of rebuilding this community. We are going to do everything we can to make sure we have the resources here so that citizens can interact directly with there government right here,” Nixon said.
Making that possible will be the new Resource, Recovery & Rebuilding Center on 705 Illinois Avenue. As Governor Nixon stated, the building, which opened Tuesday afternoon, will be able to provide aid to residents of the Joplin area.
“This will be a one-stop shop for folks who need state assistance, information and support. If you need information about temporary jobs, this center is for you. If you need to sign up for unemployment assistance, this center is for you. If your family needs food assistance, this center is for you. If you need to talk to a grief counselor or you need information about mental health services, this center is for you.” stated Nixon.
Also included will be the Missouri Housing Development Commission and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. In all there will be thirteen government agencies that will be available at the Joplin center.
The center is committed to remaining in the area until the recovery and rebuilding is complete, but Governor Nixon acknowledges that some agencies will be there longer than others.
“On the housing side we may be here for a long time. It could take a number of years until the housing stock is completely and properly balanced for the work force,” explained Nixon.
In the end though, Nixon says the hard work will pay off.
“It’s gonna be a lot of work and a lot of sweat, but I am confident that this city and this region are going to rebuild,” he said.
The center will be open from 8 a.m. until 6p.m. Monday through Friday and will be lead by former interim director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Kip Stetzler, until a director is hired permanently.
For KSMU News, I’m Justin Lux.