Beshear dedicates 100th home paid in part by tornado relief fund
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear joined Mayfield nonprofit groups on Thursday to hand out the keys to the 100th new home for survivors of the 2021 tornado outbreak financed in part by the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund.
Beshear called the occasion a “huge milestone,” and said providing tornado survivors with new homes would help them get a new start after the 2021 tornado outbreak.
“We've got to make sure we get that new home for every single one of them. No community and no family is going to be left behind,” Beshear said.
Of the more than $52.3 million in the tornado relief fund, Beshear said over $21 million has been earmarked for nonprofit groups to build and repair 300 homes for tornado survivors in western Kentucky.
Beshear said there are currently 124 homebuilding projects partially funded by the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund, including 48 projects in Graves County. Other projects are underway in Hopkins, Warren, Ohio, Fulton, Caldwell, Christian, Huickman and Marshall counties.
The Mayfield home unveiled on Thursday was funded in part with $100,000 from the state tornado relief fund. Jaime Wallace and her family of five received the keys to the new home from the governor during a ceremony Thursday afternoon. They’ll move in less than two years after they survived an EF-4 tornado that touched down in Mayfield, which damaged their home and destroyed their vehicle.
“Today is a dream come true,” Wallace said. “I’m so grateful and thankful for everything and everybody, and it’s just only gonna go up from here.”
The Wallace family’s new home is in a neighborhood built for tornado survivors by The Hope Initiative, a Graves County-based nonprofit group established to address the long-term needs of survivors of the December 2021 tornado outbreak.
Stephen Boyken, the Hope Initiative’s founder and president, said one of the group’s focuses is providing housing to renters whose homes were destroyed in the disaster.
“We have found a specific priority to give a pathway to homeownership. For renters, we didn't want anyone to be left behind,” Boyken said.
Thursday’s dedication marked the Hope Initiative’s 15th completed home and the organization is currently working on 15 more construction projects in Mayfield. Boyken said the recovery group, along with other partner organizations, is aiming to build 70 homes for Graves County tornado survivors.