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United Way getting hundreds of 211 calls from impacted tornado victims on next step

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United Way of Southern Kentucky
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More than 90 people who had been sheltering at Jennings Creek Elementary in Warren County after the recent tornadoes have been moved into hotels.

The Red Cross closed the Jennings Creek Elementary  shelter Sunday.

The United Way of Southern Kentucky is continuing to assist individuals and families who have left emergency shelters, and others across the region, figure out what to do now that their lives have been turned upside down.

The tornadoes damaged or destroyed an estimated 900 homes in Warren County, according to Judge Executive Mike Buchanon, and many people who became homeless are staying with friends or have been given lodging at Kentucky State Parks.  

United Way of Southern Kentucky spokesperson Elizabeth Newbould said the organization is getting hundreds of calls from people looking for housing or other resources and wondering what to do next. 

“We’re also getting calls from people that may have taken those first couple steps, but are looking for utility assistance, knowing what to do about their utilities being damaged or disconnected or fees. Looking for food, clothing, other supplies,” said Newbould. 

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Credit United Way of Southern Kentucky
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Employees of Houchens Industries and other volunteers assisted with unloading donations of food and other supplies at the old Cumberland Trace Elementary, one of the local hubs for tornado response.

Some of the calls are from people just trying to carry on with the small details of daily life that they're just confronting now, after the initial shock and confusion of the devastation. Newbould said some people just have to get necessities at the drug store. 

“A lot of these people don’t have transportation and so how do they get those goods," she said. "And then we’re also getting calls from people wanting to know about debris removal, when that’s going to happen, how they can prepare for it.”

The United Way 211 phone line takes calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week that are answered by staff members who can connect people to local nonprofits and other agencies that can assist them in taking the next step in rebuilding their lives. 

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