CANTON, Mo. — Bobby Marshall and his two young daughters are doing the best they can.
And it's not easy.
Marshall, 39, and his girls lost all of their possessions in a late January fire in the house they were staying. Almost a month later, they are still in the process of trying to reboot their lives.
"It's been overwhelming," Marshall said.
The Northeast Community Action Corporation (NECAC) is assisting the family.
"This is one of the toughest cases (I've dealt with) in many, many years," said Judy Eaton, the Lewis County service coordinator who has been with NECAC for 27 years. "We're trying to help them get back on their feet."
Brent Engel, a public relations officer for NECAC, said community members are helping provide clothing and other personal necessities.
"They lost everything," Engel said.
The fire occurred about 1 a.m., Marshall said. The fire was electrical in nature, according to the Canton Fire Department.
Through the help of NECAC, Marshall and his daughters — Marain, 10, and Lilly, 6 — are being housed in an apartment on the west side of Canton as they try and piece their lives back together. Marain does most of the cooking for the family.
Marshall also needs a vehicle and must obtain copies of such items as his driver's license, birth certificate and Social Security ID before he can begin work at a local factory. NECAC officials are helping Marshall, who was previously employed at a plant in Kahoka, work through the necessary channels to obtain those credentials.
"There's been a lot of change," Marshall said.
Marshall said Marain and Lilly continue to have trouble sleeping at night, and he is dealing with anxiety issues, all part of the aftermath of the fire.
"We're just trying to get back to normal," Marshall said. "It's a lot of work."
Along with clothing and personal items, other donations the family has received include a small sofa, bed, mattress and some kitchen items. Marshall says "patience" will be a key as he tries to hold the family together in the coming months.
Marshall describes his girls as "energetic" and adjusting to their new norm.
"Things are getting better," he said.
Both of the girls are outgoing and wear a friendly smile.
Marain likes the apartment where her family is staying. It allows her "enough room to do what I want."
Even Marshall thinks he can see some light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
"At first, it was devastating," he said. "Now, it feels like things are coming together."
Those who wish to make a donation to the family should call Eaton at 573-288-3969.