SHAWNEE, Okla. – One community is taking a huge step towards recovering from the May tornado outbreak.
Workers raised the walls of the first home to be rebuilt in Steelman Estates on Thursday. The trailer park was destroyed by the May 19 tornado.
The house is going to a single father and his daughter, thanks to the generosity of God’s Hand Ups and countless other charities and volunteers. It’s being given to the family free of charge.
“They will not have a mortgage,” Tonia Allen said, director of God’s Hand Ups. “This house will be built and they will be given the house. They are providing 150 hours of sweat equity into their home and others but they won’t have a mortgage whatsoever.”
Ryan VanMeter is an Oklahoma man using his construction company, Kairos Construction, to help.
He’s built hundreds of homes before but none quite like this one.
“It’s very rewarding to see the first house going up and be able to be a part of that,” VanMeter said. “Just getting to talk with the homeowners and connect with them and to hear their stories and just seeing hope restored to people’s lives.”
“Restoration is not just about the structural damage.” Allen said. “It’s about restoring the heart, the soul. The way we do that is through hope.”
There are already plans to start rebuilding the next home but the area still needs a lot of help.
They are in desperate need of donations and volunteers.