Late year Governor Phil Bryant issued a state of emergency for Marion and Jones counties, along with other parts of the state affected by severe weather two days before Christmas.
Since then Columbia Strong has partnered with The Greater Community Pine Belt Foundation. Together they have raised money and made efforts to get residents back on their feet.
“With the WDAM telethon there was over $200,000 that was pledged or promised and many of those funds came in that day,” said Executive Director of Columbia Strong Jerron Carney. “We still don't have a total now funds keep coming in.”
Carney said, the organization plans to use to funds to provide permanent housing for all of the tornado survivors. He encourages those in need of permanent housing to apply as soon as possible.
“Everyone will have to apply for permanent housing and that is going through UMCOR, which is the United Methodist case management program that we have partnered with,” said Carney. “That is located at First United Methodist Church on Church Street in Columbia.”
Case management is at United Methodist to assist anyway they can, but all applicants must go through case management before permanent housing can be an option.
“Our goal is to just raise as much money as possible,” said Carney. “What we know is that there will always be a shortage of funds and the need will outweigh the funds. That's why we are not giving a deadline.”
If you would like to donate money or volunteer your time, you can go to Columbiastrong.org.