Homeless volunteers stress ongoing need for Joplin tornado victims

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They say it's an experience that changed them for the better. Sunday night a group of homeless people from Lexington gathered to reflect on their time helping tornado victims in Joplin, Missouri.

The group from the Community Inn returned Friday after 10 days on a relief mission there. "To know what the apocalypse is, stand in the middle of Joplin like we did," Bill Day said. Day is one of twelve homeless volunteers who traveled to the disaster site to help tornado victims. "I think it's changed all of us a lot for the better."

"I would have felt bad if I hadn't went and had the opportunity to go," volunteer Ellis Boatley said. For Boatley, it felt good to be able to do something for someone in need after being on the receiving end of generosity himself. "Somebody reached out; somebody prayed for me; somebody gave me a helping hand, and that's the least I could do is repay something back."

The experience has left many feeling rejuvenated and with a restored sense of hope. "I'm still homeless for the time being," Day said, "but things will get better for me as well as they will get better for them."

Volunteers say the hardest part of the trip was leaving, and they're ready to return as they expect the cleanup to take at least another year.

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