By Stan Friedman
WESTMOORE, OK (May 31, 2013) – Rodney Beavers, executive pastor of Westmoore Community Covenant Church, is spending much of his day helping people displaced by the tornado May 20 to find new places to stay.
“There are people willing to help provide housing, but it’s a matter of connecting people,” Beavers said.
Insurance companies are paying for people to stay in hotels temporarily while residents wait to learn from adjustors whether their homes will be replaced or fixed. “So people don’t know whether they should be looking for a permanent place to live,” Beavers said.
“They’re also going back to their places and sifting through their things,” Beavers said. “They have to find storage for it.”
It also is unclear how long insurance companies will pay for the hotel rooms.
The threat of additional tornadoes in recent days has added to people’s stress, Beavers said. “We’re still in the threat zone. Even the relief sites closed early yesterday (because of heavy storms).” Click here to gain a better sense of the trauma associated with a violent storm.
The National Weather Service predicts sunnier skies after today.
Dave Husby, director of Covenant World Relief, met with leaders of several Covenant churches and toured some of the assistance sites on Wednesday.
“I was impressed by how well organized all of the items were laid out,” Husby said of donated supplies at the Westmoore campus. “It almost felt like a supermarket.”
He noted the congregation’s desire to help the community. “Although they have had several families in the church affected by the tornado, they committed to serving all who are in need.” The congregation also is considering how to find its niche in long-term response.
Beavers said relief organizers still prefer that anyone from other parts of the country who want to come and volunteer would wait. “There’s so many people now, we’re almost overwhelmed,” he explained.
Another Covenant minister shared with Husby that “It is sad that hotel and motel rooms are being taken by people coming to help, when many who have lost homes are struggling to find places to stay.”
Covenanters can contribute financially to provide assistance that will help meet immediate and long-term needs. Click here to make an online donation.
“We’re looking forward to walking with the Midsouth Conference and the local Covenant churches as we look to care for people during this likely long process of recovery,” Husby said.