MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) Since Christmas Day, Irish Johnson has been living in shambles.
The tornado ripped off the roof from her house. The walls are crumbling. Buckets are scattered around, collecting rainwater that keeps pouring in. For over a month, Irish has been living without gas or power, aside from an extension cord she runs from a kind neighbor's house.
While the Red Cross helped out with warm meals and tarps after the storm, Johnson said she has been unable to find any help repairing her damaged home.
She said she's never has to ask for assistance before, but under insured and without enough money for repairs, she doesn't know where to turn.
"What must I do?" a tearful Johnson asked Local 15, "What I gotta do? To live this way, without any help, the doors just keep closing on me."
There is, in fact, help available. All you need to do is dial 2-1-1.
Charitable and volunteer groups have restarted the Mobile County Long Term Recovery Committee, which helped victims of Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina.
"We've done this before," Ron Baughman, disaster relief coordinator for the Mobile Conference of the United Methodist Church said.
When someone calls 211, their name is added to a list of tornado victims with damaged homes. Case workers will be assigned to each family, once it's verified the damage came from the tornadoes on Christmas Day and the week before.
Depending on funds and if the house is repairable, volunteer workers will repair and replace roofs and sheet rock. Electricity and plumbing can also be fixed at no cost to the homeowner.
If the home is beyond reasonable repair, the case worker will direct the homeowner to the right people at the Housing Authority to place them in a home.
So far, the volunteer groups have raised $100,000 for supplies and they have 60 people on a list seeking help. Baughman said they hope to start repair work by the end of February, and finish repairs by the start of hurricane season in June.
You can help by making a donation. Special funds are set up to receive donations specifically for Christmas Day Tornado recovery. Not only the Red Cross, but Catholic Social Services, the Salvation Army and a number of local nonprofit organizations are accepting donations.