New life in Joplin

Yellow daffodils are blooming along the foundation of where Helen Owen’s, 79, house stood before being blown apart by the Joplin, Mo. tornado. The small sign of new life is indicative of the groundbreaking on her land where Convoy of Hope is partnering to build her a new home.

“I just want to go home,” says Helen, as she stands on the foundation of the home she lived in since 1957. “Home is here. Memories are all I have left and I have plenty of them here.”

Helen’s new home will be one of a dozen homes being built by Convoy of Hope and partners Global Green Building, LLC, Project Safe Home, T.F. Concrete Forming Systems, Joyce Meyer Ministries – Hand of Hope and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“Partnering with these organizations to help bring new life to Joplin is an honor for us,” says Karen Benson, director of global disaster response for Convoy of Hope.

Joined by other new homeowners and representatives from the project partners, Helen dug a shiny gold shovel into her yard, signifying the official beginning of the project to build the disaster-resistant end energy efficient homes.

George Van Hoesenoese of Global Green Building, LLC, is contracting to build the homes. He hopes the homes will prove to be a model for the future.

“I want to thank Convoy of Hope for really going above and beyond and looking beyond the bottom dollar at how construction can be more resilient and more energy efficient,” says Van Hoesen.

The first six homes are scheduled to be completed by the end of May. That can’t come soon enough for Helen. “Convoy of Hope has been so helpful,” she says. “I appreciate all of the support from all who give to Convoy of Hope. Because of the support of others, I can move on with life and I’m ready!”