The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 2011 Joplin tornado

December 7, 2012

Buyers of Habitat homes celebrate new Mizzou neighborhood

JOPLIN, Mo. — More than the weather was misty Friday as five families celebrated the completion of their Habitat for Humanity homes just in time to have Christmas in the Mizzou neighborhood of the Governor’s Challenge.

New homeowner Melinda Underwood, at 2601 S. Pennsylvania Ave., said she promised herself she was not going to cry anymore over the losses her family sustained in the 2011 tornado and for the joy she, her husband and five children have experienced from the outpouring of assistance.

In the duplex where they lived before it was destroyed in the storm, they were crowded and had little privacy, Underwood said.

“We have places for everything in our home and now we have a place in our heart for Habitat and Mizzou,” she told celebrants at the dedication of the University of Missouri Tigers section.

It is the second section of homes built in Joplin through an effort by Gov. Jay Nixon who called on the state’s athletic teams to each lead a section of rebuilding through the Habitat program. The first section, sponsored by the Kansas City Chiefs, was dedicated a month ago.

The governor asked Mizzou, the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals as well as the St. Louis Rams, Cardinals and Blues to lend their names and labor to build a total of 35 houses for Habitat.

“We’re really excited to be a part of the Governor’s Challenge,” said another homeowner, Christine Taylor, of 2619 S. Virginia Ave., crediting the governor for his work to help rebuild Joplin. “He is going to make sure this town bounces back,” she said.

Taylor, her husband, Larry Fickle, and their 7-year-old son, Dalton, learned from the experience, she said. “We built friendships. We learned the value of volunteering in our community, and we’ve learned that people have big hearts,” she said. “We have nothing but love and gratitude for all the volunteers.”

As for the participation of Mizzou, “We are big fans. They are awesome,” she said. “We never miss a game now. We gather around the TV now and cheer for them.”

It also has been an important event in Dalton’s life. “I love this house so much,” he said.

Mike Alden, athletic director at MU, told the celebrants, “What an awesome view it was when we pulled in today and saw the neighborhood.” There were 150 student-athletes and MU staff who made four trips to Joplin to help with construction. He said that MU also conducted the “1 State, 1 Spirit, 1 Mizzou” campaign that raised $250,000 for tornado relief.

“They worked so hard in the summer heat,” said Underwood of the Mizzou volunteers.

Another one of the home buyers, Annette Webb, of 2615 S. Virginia Ave., said she is grateful to the Habitat organization for helping her buy a house rather than renting again. “The Habitat people helped us in every way to make sure we got a place,” she said.

Jessica Carroll, of 2610 S. Pennsylvania Ave., said she is thankful for her house. Her 5-year-old daughter, Rhianna, chimed in with her feelings too. “I love my home,” she told the crowd.

Habitat finances the houses for 20 years and charges no interest on the loans. The buyers work off their down payment through sweat equity, and attending classes or working on projects to improve their family budgets and financial obligations.

Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean said Habitat’s program “continues to grow Joplin. There are a lot of people in need, and the Governor’s Challenge is wonderful,” she said.

Each dedication “gives you hope and lets you know people still care. There are still a lot of families in need, but it’s a start. You’ve got to start somewhere.”

House count

Scott Clayton, executive director of the Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity, said Friday that 38 houses have been completed and 33 more are nearly finished in the Habitat rebuilding program.

 

1
Text Only
May 2011 Joplin tornado
  • r041414wildwood.jpg Opening of nursing home another recovery milestone

    Gladys Dutton has done a lot of things in her life, but Monday’s dedication of the Communities at Wildwood Ranch nursing home marked a first. “I’ve never cut a ribbon before,” she said. “I hope I do a good job.” Dutton was one of four residents to participate in the opening of the $8.5 million nursing center that eventually will be home to 120 people.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • 052212 unity walk1_72.jpg SLIDESHOW: One year later, One day of unity, updated Photos from a day of events commemorating the May 22, 2011 tornado anniversary

    May 22, 2012 1 Photo

  • Joplin Redevelopment Corp. preparing for first property sale

    The first sale of property from the Joplin Redevelopment Corp. to Wallace Bajjali Development Partners is scheduled for May 16. The city staff will be working to prepare for that sale, it was discussed on Tuesday at a meeting of the JRC.

    April 9, 2014

  • Issues prompt pair to seek help from city; allocations approved for repairs in tornado zone

    Two people spoke to the Joplin City Council on Monday night about issues they would like the city government to address. Elizabeth Clement, a Neosho resident who works in Joplin, asked the city to operate more surveillance in parking lots because of the number of cars stolen. She said her car was stolen from the parking lot at Northpark Mall and used in robberies.

    April 7, 2014

  • National institute releases final report on Joplin tornado

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology on Friday released a final report into the technical investigation of the May 22, 2011, tornado that struck Joplin — the deadliest tornado in the United States in the 64 years that official records have been kept.

    March 28, 2014

  • r031814tornadofunds2.jpg Local tornado fund board cites appreciation, accomplishments

    The 991 donations ranged from $1 to $119,000. They came from all over the world. On Tuesday, the managers of the Joplin Tornado First Response Fund gave an accounting of how those donations, which totaled about $995,950 with interest, were given in 41 grants, recipients of which included 27 local agencies.

    March 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Dan Riddell 0604013.jpg Farmers Insurance extends tornado recovery commitment

    After investments that included stationing a company executive in Joplin for eight months last year, officials with Farmers Insurance said the company will continue its post-tornado commitment to Joplin in 2014. “We’re going to stay until the end,” said Doris Dunn, director of community relations for the company, on Wednesday. “That includes sending in another 100-plus volunteers and making some additional financial investments.”

    February 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • r021714rescuedog.jpg Author prepares for release of children’s book featuring heroic Joplin rescue dog

    Carolyn Mueller is both a dog lover and a storyteller. So when she got the opportunity to write a story about a Joplin dog named Lily who helped search for survivors after the May 2011 tornado, she jumped on it. “Dogs like Lily can be heroes, too,” she said.

    February 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • VIDEO: Lost photos claim day to be held at museum

    National Disaster Photo Rescue and the Joplin Museum Complex have scheduled a public viewing and photo claim day for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at the museum complex in Schifferdecker Park. The project, originally known as Lost Photos of Joplin, was organized in the weeks after the May 22, 2011, Joplin tornado to reunite storm victims with photos displaced by the storm.

    February 4, 2014

  • Building-permit total since tornado nears $1 billion

    The building of new homes in Joplin continues at an average pace of 16 to 18 per month, according to a building permit report released for December by the city of Joplin. Eighteen building permits for new homes were issued in both November and December. In fiscal year 2013, permits for new homes averaged more than 16 per month.

    January 31, 2014

Purchase Globe Photos


Featured Ads
Facebook
Tornado: Multimedia coverage
Tornado: Obituaries
Tornado: Columns
Tornado: Mike Pound
Tornado: Lists of missing, fatalities & relief
Tornado: Donate & volunteer
Tornado: Resources & relief