Community Recovery of Lowndes County completes first home

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- The EF-3 tornado of 2019 displaced several Columbus families for months.

Debris lined the streets, and most people were uncertain where they would lay their heads next.

Fortunately, community organizations worked tirelessly to get families back in their homes. 

And now, one home is finished. 

“It’s a whole different mood. It’s a whole different emotion. I was sad one time, but now, you know, this is a proud moment today,” said homeowner Gregory Mixon. 

Nearly two years ago, Mixon’s home was damaged by an EF-3 tornado back in February of 2019. His belongings turned to debris after heavy winds torn through the city of Columbus.

Now, he holds the keys to his newly-built home.

“It’s been a long process, and today is here though so, all those words are out the door right now,” said Mixon. 

Like several others, Mixon relied on the Community Recovery of Lowndes County for help.

“When they came in to assess the home, they realized it was so defective. So, we had to go back to the client and tell them their home won’t be able to be restored, and we have to tear it down and rebuild it,” said Clinkscales. 

Board President Nicole Clinkscales put Mixon’s home on a case order for assistance.

“A few homes had mold in it, and we’ve had to take down walls and do flooring, so all those needs were still unmet,” said Clinkscales. 

The committee soon partnered with Mennonite Disaster Services for construction services.

“Once I saw the frames coming up, I knew I’ll have a new house,” said Mixon. 

“About 85 different volunteers have been on this particular house representing maybe $4,000 of volunteer work. Those are some of the requirements for the MEMA funding. So we’ve amazing helped Columbus get back on their feet,” said Larry Miller with Mennonite Disaster Services.

Other area organizations extended a helping hand.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic put the construction to a halt.

“That stopped everything. Volunteers could not travel to come here and do this work. For about four to five months, we had no activity. This home was sitting here. Some people were affected long-term,” Clinkscales. 

When volunteers returned to work, their efforts left Mixon with a new place to call home. 

“It’s a blessing. I’m just going to try to sit down for a minute to take it all in and enjoy it,” Mixon. 

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