Houchens Industries, Inc. launches the “Bridge the Gap” program to assist those impacted by the tornados in December of 2021. In addition to Houchens Industries, Inc., many other local companies have also committed significant donations to the program, including American Bank & Trust, BKD LLP, Franklin Bank & Trust, Fruit of the Loom Inc., Houchens Insurance Group, Independence Bank, Jasper Engine and Transmissions, and Reynolds Sealing & Striping. The fund, which has a goal of one million dollars, is to be administered through disaster case management with United Way of Southern Kentucky.


With hundreds of homes having been destroyed and many more severely damaged by the tornados, many households are facing challenges with the cost difference between insurance coverage and actual repair and rebuilding costs. The Bridge the Gap program will address those cost deficits and assist households in rebuilding. All fund allocations will be reviewed and approved by a committee representing contributing community organizations and United Way of Southern Kentucky.


Those seeking to apply are encouraged to contact Southern Kentucky 2-1-1 and a Disaster Case Manager will assist individuals in navigating the process. Eligibility criteria includes having damage to your home, property, and/or vehicles due to the tornados, and proof of ownership of damaged property.


“Since 1917 Houchens Industries, Inc. has always been focused on making a difference in the communities in which we live and work. We are honored to partner with numerous other community businesses and United Way of Southern Kentucky to address the financial gap that many households in our area are facing. We believe this program will assist those most at risk financially in our community and better our community as a whole,” stated Dion Houchins, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Houchens Industries, Inc.


While primary support came from companies in Bowling Green, the Bridge the Gap fund also received a significant contribution from Jasper Engine and Transmissions of Jasper, Indiana. “Our neighbors in Kentucky were devastated by tornados and we wanted to do something. When we learned about Bridge the Gap it just made sense to try and help make up the shortfall for our neighbors,” said Doug Bawel, CEO of Jasper Engine and Transmissions.


“The impact that the Bridge the Gap program will have on tornado victims in our community is immense. United Way of Southern Kentucky has been working since the early days after the storms striving to return those affected to a place of self-sufficiency. The needs are vast, and this program fills a critical void. And Southern 2-1-1 is the ideal way for folks to access the program as it has been a critical resource to those who were affected since December 11. We look forward to working with Houchens Industries and all of the other partners to maximize the impact that this program will have for our community,” stated Debbie Hills, President & CEO of United Way of Southern Kentucky.


If you or someone you know has been affected by the tornados, please text 898-211 or call 2-1-1 or 1-844-966-0906.