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Published: Saturday, August 03, 2019 @ 5:18 PM
— A Miami Valley family can finally “go home” after more than a month of being displaced by the Memorial Day tornadoes.
Jessica Robinson, Justin Wyatt and their children, Alexus and Addelynn, moved into a new rental home in Dayton with the help of volunteers from the Shiloh Tornado Assistance for Families program.
“I’m so thankful. I’m not the kind to ask for help,” Robinson said. “I’ve never had this kind of love from people.”
Shiloh Tornado Assistance for Families helps tornado survivors navigate what to do in recovery. The assistance the group gives ranges from connecting families with real estate agents to legal help to medical help.
Sarah Moore, the disaster coordinator for the Shiloh program, said she is seeing a “second wave” of homelessness after the tornadoes. Families who originally could live in their homes no longer can because roofs are collapsing or mold has overtaken the home, Moore said.
Robinson and her family, who lived in Northridge, are in that “second wave.” The ceiling of her home started to collapse, and she discovered what they believe is black mold. She and her family had to pitch a tent and sleep in a campground for a night.
“We roasted marshmallows on sticks that night, you kind of had to make a little fun out of it,” Robinson said.
Shiloh, in partnership with other churches, helped Robinson, her fiance and their children get into hotels until they could find a place to rent. They moved around to five different hotels in that time.
“I don’t ever want to leave,” Robinson said of the new rental home. “I’m so excited. I can just walk my kids with the wagon around the neighborhood. God brought us here.”
Friday was Alexus’ third birthday. The family said they were so busy trying to secure last-minute details that they forgot what day it was.
“The tornado did more than just tear my house up,” Robinson said.
Moore and the volunteers from Shiloh brought Robinson and her family donated items for the kitchen and bedrooms. Moore also brought the family food for dinner on Saturday night and Kroger gift cards to buy groceries once they get settled in.
“I’m excited to just pull in the driveway and be home,” Wyatt said. “I’m excited to say ‘let’s go home.’ ”