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CAP walking the streets of the Southside, offering help to those hit by floodwaters

“As we’re walking by and you’re seeing people’s entire lives in a dumpster because of water damage," said Rachael Bittiker, Public Affairs and Community Development Director for Community Action Partnership.

Posted: Aug 4, 2020 7:36 AM
Updated: Aug 4, 2020 7:42 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) It's been two weeks since southside St. Joseph was overtaken by flooding.

Life on the southend is still nowhere near back to normal, but local social service agencies are trying to help the area as much as possible.

“As we’re walking by and you’re seeing people’s entire lives in a dumpster because of water damage," said Rachael Bittiker, Public Affairs and Community Development Director for Community Action Partnership. 

Community Action Partnership loaded up their bus Monday morning with volunteers geared up in rainboots to head down to the southside. CAP officials said residents impacted by the flood are looking for resources on how to rebuild what they've lost by the flood. 

“It’s not lack of trying to fix things on the southside end, it’s the lack of community efforts to help and and make it better,” said Bittiker.

CAP St. Joe took to the streets of the southside, knocking door to door, listening to those who feel unheard.   

“We just really feel like meeting them where they’re at so that they can get the support for their houses, they can get the resources that they need,” said Whitney Lanning, Executive Director of Community Action Partnership of St. Joseph. 

CAP officials said many families not only lost their homes, but their vehicles. Lack of transportation is making it difficult for those impacted by the floodwater to find help. That's the reason behind CAP's choice to bring help down to the southside. But, the abandoned streets are causing problems. 

“We’re finding out that a lot of people left. As soon as the flood water hit, they left because they felt unsafe, they didn’t know what was going to happen. Now, we have a list of homes and places that aren’t hooked up with the Red Cross and now, we can’t find them,” said Bittiker.

The list of homes hit by the flood and still haven't registered with the Red Cross is long and far reaching. 

“We went through the list last night and there's probably over 60, less than a hundred. There’s a lot of people,” said Lanning.

As CAP workers walked through the streets of southside St. Joseph, they said the damage left by the floodwaters is apparent and heartbreaking. 

“It’s pretty humbling, it’s sombering. This wasn’t their fault. It was out of their control,” said Bittiker. 

CAP St. Joe said they're going to continue trying to reach out to southside families to make sure their needs are being met.

For those families displaced by the flooding and have not signed up with the Red Cross, call CAP at 816-233-8281. 

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