Houchens Industries, Inc., partners announce $420,000 ‘Bridge the Gap’ funds awarded

The United Way of Southern Kentucky 211 has partnered with the Long-Term Recovery Group of...
The United Way of Southern Kentucky 211 has partnered with the Long-Term Recovery Group of Bowling Green-Warren County to take calls for those affected by the December tornadoes.(WBKO)
Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 10:17 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The “Bridge the Gap” program launched by Houchens Industries, Inc. and community partners, in partnership with United Way of Southern Kentucky, has now disbursed nearly $420,000 to assist those impacted by the tornadoes in December of 2021.

Many households have benefited with dozens of applications still in process.

The Bridge the Gap program was established to help address the households that are facing challenges with the cost difference between insurance coverage and actual repair and rebuilding costs.

Eligibility criteria includes having damage to your home, property, and/or vehicles due to the tornadoes, and proof of ownership of damaged property. All fund allocations have been reviewed and approved by a committee representing contributing community organizations and United Way of Southern Kentucky.

“When we launched Bridge the Gap, we knew there was a need and we were determined to do something to assist our neighbors and community. However, I don’t think any of us realized how vital these funds would be to so many people,” said Dion Houchins, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Houchens Industries, Inc. “The stories we have reviewed on applications, the struggles we have witnessed, and the happy tears we have heard about will be something that will stick with us forever. We are eager to continue helping all those in need, until every dollar of the Bridge the Gap fund is spent.”

Kimberly Crowe, one of the many Bridge the Gap recipients talked about her experience with Bridge the Gap.

“I had insurance, but it had lapsed while I was away receiving cancer treatment, leaving me to cover the costs. Because I owned my home FEMA would not help. The tarps that were professionally put on the roof are starting to wear and I was worried about having more damage,” Crowe said. “This is perfect timing; I don’t know how I would have been able to fix my home without Bridge the Gap…Thank you, bless you and anyone else’s hands that made this possible.”

“I am very excited to call the roofer and get it scheduled before it gets any colder. I appreciate this so much, thank you and the committee for all the work you have put into this program,” Lisa Keown, another Bridge the Gap fund recipient said.

“We all want to have hope, and that is exactly what the Bridge the Gap program has provided to dozens of individuals over the last six months,” said Debbie Hills, President & CEO of United Way of Southern Kentucky. “United Way of Southern Kentucky has been honored to be part of this process, by answering desperate calls through 211, and then working with case managers to ensure those callers receive the assistance they need. We know this program is having an impact now, but it will also have long-term impacts, as many people will now be able to stay in their homes or rebuild.”

If you or someone you know has been affected by the tornadoes and are seeking to apply for Bridge the Gap funds, please contact United Way of Southern Kentucky’s 211 by texting 898-21, calling 2-1-1, or 1-844-966-0906, and a Disaster Case Manager will assist individuals in navigating the process.