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Samaritan’s Purse to dedicate 13 new Mayfield homes to tornado survivors next month

Kaitlyn Lahm
/// Samaritan's Purse

A religious nonprofit group plans to dedicate next month the first 13 homes its volunteers have built in a new Mayfield subdivision to families who lost their residences during the December 2021 tornado outbreak.

Samaritan’s Purse – a nonprofit organization and nondenominational Christian ministry – has been working to help get families back on their feet since the disaster swept through western Kentucky and Tennessee, destroying thousands of homes and businesses.

Almost two years after the disaster, construction superintendent Tim Cottrell is reporting that nearly a quarter of the 60-home subdivision the nonprofit committed to building in Mayfield are ready to welcome their first residents.

“The homes we built are not just your standard home,” Cottrell said. “Each one has a bathroom combination laundry room that is built to withstand an EF-5 tornado. Every new house receives this particular storm-proof safe room.”

Samaritan’s Purse is also working to assist storm survivors in installing in-ground storm shelters, supply survivors with new furniture and offer classes to area residents that deal with disaster recovery-related topics like financial skills, emotional and spiritual health. The organization also operates in Dawson Springs, Cayce and Benton in addition to Mayfield.

Cottrell said he’s seen first hand the effect these classes have had on participants.

“I have seen some of the people actually change their demeanor after they take the classes,” he said. “They are just different people.”

Each of the 60 homes already has a family lined up to move in as renters once they’re complete. Applications went out last year, and Samaritan’s Purse has processed and selected the families they believed could most benefit from the new housing opportunity.

“We do look for responsibility in paying the taxes, insurance, handling their income, properly and wisely,” Cottrell said. “So, we're wanting to help them along with that in our budgeting and the financial classes.”

A dedication ceremony will be held for the first 13 homes on Sept. 29 in Mayfield.

Zacharie Lamb is a music major at Murray State University and is a Graves County native.
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