The Johnson County Long-Term Recovery Group (LTRG) recently held a meeting on
the Mayo campus of Big Sandy Community and Technical College.
Bobby McCool, chief institutional officer at BSCTC, has served as chair of the group
since its inception in 2012. The pilot project, created in the aftermath of tornadoes
which swept through the county in March 2012, gained national attention in 2013 when
the National Association of Development Organizations named the group as it National
Innovation Award recipient.
The work of the group was expanded through February 2014 through a FEMA grant that
was awarded to the Cabinet of Families and Children through the Department of Aging
and Living and subcontracted to the Big Sandy Area Development District.
This was an innovative approach to work together and link resources to those who needed
help rebuilding their homes and rebuilding their lives after the storm, said McCool.
I am very proud of the team we assembled, and I am proud of the work we were able
Brenda Cockerman served as vice chair of the group. Gary McClure, who serves as director
of Paintsville/Johnson County Emergency Management, was instrumental in the identifying
of resources and those needing assistance, said McCool.
Mike Howell of Big Sandy Community Action was such a great help as they volunteered
to act as our 501c3 agency, said McCool. Cathi Blair, Jill Stafford (Christian Appalachian
Project) and Deb Massengale (United Methodist Church) were very helpful as well.
Kayla McGinnis was a case manager for the group. She worked directly with families,
determined unmet needs and provided them access to community resources.
Kayla worked diligently to make sure the needs of the people were met, McCool added.
We couldnt have done any of this without here.
The group, through McGinnis work, has closed out 519 cases. Some of the case highlights
include Farmers Market vouchers provided by the University of Kentucky Extension office;
more than $2,500 in donations from the American Red Cross, a complete bathroom remodel
by LINKS; donation of materials from Christian Appalachian Project; and appliance
vouchers from Big Sandy Community Action Program. Other cases were funded through
the Long-Term Recovery Group of Johnson County, Catholic Charities of Lexington and
Catholic Charities of Louisville.
The group will continue to meet to establish framework and best practices to respond
to future disasters. For more information, contact McCool at (606) 886-7385 or email