Tuesday, December 13, 2011

NeighborWorks Member Homeport Brings ABC’s 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' to Ohio

The Rhodes family was surprised to learn they will
get a new home from ABC's Extreme Makeover.
Tune in to ABC on Friday, Dec. 16 at
8pm, EST to see the transformation!
NeighborWorks member Homeport aka Columbus Housing Partnership assisted the ABC network program Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to bring attention to the Rhodes family and the forgotten Ohio neighborhood called American Addition, where they lived.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, the neighborhood has been singled out by Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman as “the most egregiously neglected urban neighborhood I have ever seen.” The mayor is investing $5 million to rebuild streets and alleys and install sidewalks, lights, curbs, waterlines and storm-sewer lines, while federal Neighborhood Stabilization Project money will help to pay for 150 new homes.

The city doesn’t have to worry about one of those homes, however. It has been rebuilt by the cast and crew of Extreme Makeover. The process started two years ago, when Homeport’s volunteers and staff went door to door talking to families and helping those interested in completing the lengthy application process. Homeport helped the families create videos to accompany their applications and helped shoot additional supporting video discussing the neglected neighborhood's history.

In August, the cast of Extreme Makeover knocked on the door of
James and Jackie Rhodes and surprised them with the news that they had been chosen to receive a brand new home because of their family’s love and commitment to each other. The Dispatch reports that the Rhodes had taken in their daughter Mikia and her four children, after Mikia had emergency surgery to cure a brain tumor. She slept with her children — ages 7, 9, 15 and 18 — in the main sitting room on the first floor, while her parents occupied the only bedroom upstairs. The home was not only cramped, it was also in desperate need of repair.

Now thanks to Homeport and Extreme Makeover, the Rhodes have a brand new home for the holidays. The episode showing the whole process will air on Friday, December 16 at 8 p.m. Eastern time. Some members of the Homeport team made cameo appearances in the show as elves and others may appear talking about the organization's programs. Tune in!