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Project Homeless: 1-Stop Shop For Tornado Victims

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Gordy Leach Gordy Leach
Gordy Leach graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1974 wi...
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By Gordy Leach, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — So much of what victims lost in the tornado can never be replaced. But at the Minneapolis Convention Center Tuesday, about 1,000 residents got everything from a hot lunch to a new pair of glasses.

Kelber Catering donated the food, and Convention Center staff volunteered to help serve. But that was just the beginning.

“Financial assistance, shelter assistance, medical care, access to state IDs and birth certificates, eyeglasses, emergency clothing, food, that kind of thing. So its turned into a one-stop shop for tornado victims,” said Cathy ten Broeke of Hennepin County.

Standing in line was not uncommon, but the lines were moving.  People were getting help with big things — like insurance claims — and smaller things, like eye glasses lost in the storm.

” You don’t see the world clearly,” said Cynthia Patrick, a North Minneapolis resident. “You see it, but you don’t see it clearly, so you are like lost without glasses, with all the papers you have to fill out and read.”

Some of these people told us they have very little right now, not much more than the clothes they are wearing and the stress is beginning to show.

“We need the help,” said Shawnee Twiet of North Minneapolis. “We were already a community in need of help, now we’re devastated. We’re really in need of help.”

The event was hosted by Hennepin County and the city of Minneapolis, complete with bus rides to and from the Convention Center.

Anyone who still needs help can call the city info. line. Just dial 311.

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