Governor's Joplin Habitat Challenge to Build 35 Homes
KANSAS CITY -- 35 homes, seven teams, one mission. That was the message Gov. Jay Nixon shared in Kansas City today as he detailed the 2012 Governor's Joplin Habitat Challenge. The challenge, in partnership with Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity and Missouri's major athletic organizations, aims to build 35 new homes in the heart of Joplin during 2012 to provide continued aid to the city's recovery.
The Governor Friday detailed the Challenge at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, where he was joined by Scott Clayton, Executive Director of the Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity; Mark Donovan, President of the Kansas City Chiefs; Toby Cook, VP of Community Affairs and Publicity of the Kansas City Royals; and Patrick Warren, president of the Kansas Speedway, who will represent the speedway, NASCAR and NASCAR Unites. The Challenge also includes the University of Missouri Athletic Department; the St. Louis Cardinals; the St. Louis Rams; the St. Louis Blues.
"In the wake of the devastating tornado, folks from across Missouri and around the world stepped forward to help the Joplin community recover and rebuild, and Missouri's major athletic organizations were a vital part of those recovery efforts," Gov. Nixon said. "I am proud that Missouri's teams are leading the way once again by participating in the 2012 Governor's Joplin Habitat Challenge, and I encourage all Missourians to get involved. Together, we'll tackle the critical issue of housing in Joplin by building 35 homes this year, and providing the resources for Habitat for Humanity to expand its mission in the years to come. Please visit MO.gov today to learn how you can get involved."
The EF-5 twister that hit Joplin on May 22, 2011, damaged or destroyed more than 7,700 households, and thousands of Joplin residents continue to live in temporary housing or with family or friends. The 2012 Governor's Joplin Habitat Challenge will address the need for permanent housing by partnering with Joplin Area Habitat to build 35 homes this year.
Gov. Nixon's administration will provide a $3.6 million Community Development Block Grant to build the homes; the grant will cover purchasing the land and materials, hiring construction leaders and managers, and hiring a volunteer coordinator.
"The need for quality, affordable housing has never been greater in Joplin," said Scott Clayton, executive director of Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity. "With the resources and commitment from Gov. Nixon and Missouri's athletic organizations, we have the opportunity to make a lasting and life-changing difference for 35 families in our community this year, and even more in the years to come. We look forward to working with generous volunteers from across our great state to build these homes and keep our amazing community moving forward."
The 35 homes will be divided into seven different neighborhoods, with each neighborhood assigned a sponsor from among the seven Missouri athletic organizations. Players, coaches, alumni, broadcasters and front office staff from each organization will visit their neighborhood on several occasions to serve alongside volunteers and professional builders in assisting with the construction, including framing, siding, painting and landscaping.
"From the earliest days of the tornado, the Chiefs organization has been committed to the long-term recovery effort in Joplin" said Clark Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs Chairman and CEO. "From our water drive and financial contribution, to the organization-wide day of service last June, to hosting the Governor's Cup and Joplin High School football at Arrowhead, we are continually looking for ways to assist those affected by this tragedy. Taking part in the 2012 Governor's Joplin Habitat Challenge is the next step for the Chiefs and will allow us to continue to positively impact the rebuilding of Joplin, which is home to so many of our great fans."
"With Major League Baseball's All-Star Game returning to Kauffman Stadium this summer for the first time in 39 years, the national spotlight will be on Kansas City and the State of Missouri," said Kevin Uhlich, Senior Vice President of Business Operations for the Kansas City Royals. "The 2012 Governor's Joplin Habitat Challenge will allow us to continue to show the world the resiliency, compassion and generosity of Missourians as we continue to rebuild the great city of Joplin."
"The tornado that devastated Joplin last May affected Kansas Speedway and NASCAR in more ways than one," said Kansas Speedway President Patrick Warren. "Not only did some of our fans in southwest Missouri feel the brunt, but the twister also severely impacted the hometown of former Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray. The 2012 Joplin-Habitat Governor's Challenge is a great way for our organization to volunteer on the ground and ensure that a great city continues to move forward to complete recovery."