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Long Term Recovery Center Opens in Washington, Illinois

Updated: Saturday, July 19 2014, 01:37 AM CDT

Eight months after a tornado ravaged the town of Washington, recovery continues.

Today, a new long-term recovery center was unveiled to help streamline the process.

"We knew it would be long-term. We just don't know how long term," said Sondra Hayes, Direct Services Program Manager for the American Red Cross.

The twister Destroyed and damaging more than 1,100 homes throughout Tazewell County.

"You can also see the devastation that remains. Houses that are untouched yet today. Fire places but no home around them. Flowers that used to go around a foundation but there is no foundation and there is no home," said Jim Fassino, Chairman of the Tri-County Long Term Recovery Committee.

Fassino says the recovery process is expected to take at least two more years, which is why the committee decided to open the Long Term Recovery Center.

"If there are 40 agencies that are helping, providing services, and you have to go to 40 agencies, and fill out 40 agency forms, and wait to hear back from 40 agencies, then if you think about it from the agencies' standpoint, they don't know what all other 39 agencies are doing," Fassino said.

Now, those still in clean-up and healing process, can work with one of thirteen caseworkers who represent all 40 organizations.

"I think it should be reassuring for them to know that there's people who care, people who are trying to help them recover. Everyone has different unmet needs," Fassion said.

Whether those needs are financial or emotional.

"The suicide rates, divorce rates, domestic rates, all tend to go up after an event like this," Fassino said.

But those with Tri-County Long Term Recovery, are working to help those affected by the devastating tornado, from beginning to end.

"To fulfill their needs, to help find resources for their needs," Hayes said.

The Long Term Recovery Center officially opens on Monday.

The center was funded in part by a $500,000 grant from the Chicago-based McCormick Foundation.

The Caterpillar Foundation provided the office furniture.

The recovery center will be open daily by appointment.

The organization will become dormant when recovery is complete.

Long Term Recovery Center Opens in Washington, Illinois

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