Lilly Endowment Awards $1.5 Million to Joplin Recovery Fund

The Joplin Recovery Fund, which is administered by the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri, has announced a $1.5 million grant from the Lilly Endowment to help promote home construction and recovery efforts following the May 22 tornado that killed 116 people and left hundreds homeless in Joplin, Missouri.

The funds initially will support grants to organizations working to develop affordable housing for tornado survivors looking to return to permanent homes. Full details, including the amount available, eligibility guidelines, and the application process, will be announced in January. Created by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks in partnership with CFSMO, its Joplin-based affiliate, the Recovery Fund is working to address mid- to long-term recovery efforts in Joplin and has received more than $3 million to date.

Although the Missouri Housing Development Commission is helping to re-establish multifamily dwellings and apartments in Joplin, "[t]here remains a need to replace several thousand single-family homes," Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce president Rob O'Brian told the Joplin Globe. "For many people, it's simply a matter of being able to obtain a house on the income they have. This kind of grant will be a benefit to jump-start this process."

"The lack of affordable housing has been described as the biggest unmet need for tornado survivors at this point," said COmmunity Foundation of the Ozarhs president Brian Fogle. "It is our goal to create a pool of grant funding that can make a meaningful dent in that need. We understand that survivors cannot truly feel they are on their way toward recovery if they don't have a permanent place where they can afford to live."

Wally Kennedy. "Lilly Endowment Awards $1.5 Million for Housing." Joplin Globe 12/21/2011. "$1.5 Million Lilly Grant to Focus on Joplin Housing Needs." Community Foundation of the Ozarks Press Release 12/21/2011.