JOPLIN, Mo. — A local public servant was honored for his service in Joplin.

A retirement celebration was held for John Joines.

He has spent the last 25 years fighting poverty in the community.

Joines started his career with the Economic Security Corporation, Southwest area, in 1997, as a program planner.

He’s grown its workforce to over 300 employees, developed partnerships to create over 200 affordable housing units, worked with the Joplin School District to develop its Bright Futures program, and administered anti-poverty programs to hundreds of thousands of Missouri’s low-income individuals and families.

Missouri State Representative Ann Kelley, of District 127, presented him with a proclamation of his retirement.

“He’s the most generous, kindest person you’ve ever met. He has used his position with economic security to help people. I’ve had numerous constituents reach out with different crises and I remember being on the phone with him numerous times on a Saturday when it was freezing cold outside and he said I’ll take care of it. I promise within 24 hours that people will have the electricity that they need, or the air conditioner that they need or whatever. He’s just amazing,” said Rep. Ann Kelley, (R-MO) District 127.

“One of my legacies is that I can walk away from here and not have any concerns. I have hired the right person, I have trained the right person and it’s going to be even a better organization, they’ll take it to the next level,” said John Joines, Chief Exec. Officer, Economic Security Corporation.

Joines last day is March 31st.