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Disaster relief center up and running for those affected by Oak Grove tornado

OAK GROVE, Mo. -- Help for victims of Monday's storms is now available in one place. Multiple agencies teamed up to host a Disaster Relief Recovery Resource Center at First Baptist Church in Oak Grove.

Rick Parr makes a living helping other people, but following Monday's EF-3 tornado in Oak Grove, he and his family are now the ones in need.

"We’re used to helping everybody. We’re not used to being helped. We’re on the other side a little bit this time," he said.

His home was destroyed. He explained, "Based on the Red Cross, it’s severe. Meaning my house was completely damaged and has to be taken away."

Parr visited Friday's Disaster Relief Recovery Resource Center; it was basically a one-stop shop for those trying to figure out the answers to "What happens now?"

Volunteers set up rows of tables offering insurance information, legal services, emergency financial help, and more.

Aren Koening with Catholic Charities of Missouri and Kansas said, "We want to make sure we can make it as easy as possible so we’ve been coordinating with the city, the county, the state to make sure that all resources are in one place."

Koenig headed up the resource center, and she also grew up in the area. She said, with a laugh, the outpouring of help even came in from a nearby rival high school. "Being from this area, I know it’s not so easy to put those high school ties away, so it was really great of that community and that particular school to call and ask how they could provide assistance," Koenig said.

Assistance from multiple agencies was available all under one roof, with the hope that the process is made easier for people like Parr. He said, "Right now I’m not too concerned. We have our health, our life, and we’re fine; and a place to find out more information."

The resource center -- also known as a Multi-Agency Resource Center -- is at First Baptist Church, 400 SE 14th Street, Oak Grove, Missouri.

Friday, March 10 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday, March 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Services include: insurance information, legal services, food stamp replacement services, health and wellness services, emergency financial assistance, and more.

Convoy of Hope is set out in the parking lot outside. The group is providing items to meet people's physical needs, as part of a bulk distribution. Items include boxes and totes so people can sift through the debris and collect belongings, cleaning supplies, cat and dog food, and quick meals so people can work at their homes instead of having to leave to get something to eat.

The Resource Center will also be in Smithville, Missouri.

Good Shepard Catholic Church off Hwy 169 Sunday, March 12 from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Need is available to anyone in the metro who was affected by Monday's storms. Residents must bring proof of address. Childcare and warm meals are available.

If you're unable to attend the event, you can get the same resource information through the United Way of Greater Kansas City by visiting www.211.org or calling 2-1-1.

Participating Groups:

- United Methodist and AmeriCorps St. Louis ERT

- Adventist Community Services

- American Red Cross

- Catholic Charities of Kansas City - St. Joseph

- Children's Disaster Services

- Community Service League

- Comprehensive Mental Health Services

- Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration

- Department of Health and Senior Services - Division of Senior and Disability Services

- Department of Social Services

- Health Care Collaborative of Rural Missouri/Live Well Community Health Center

- ICNA Relief U.S.A.

- Missouri Attorney General's Office

- Missouri Bar Association

- Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys

- Salvation Army

- United Way 2-1-1

- University of Missouri Extension

- City of Oak Grove