Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in search of Columbia families in need

Thursday, April 16, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Ty Pennington might wake up one Columbia family with his trademark bullhorn greeting: "Good morning!" ABC’s "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" is looking for Columbia families in need.

The Emmy Award-winning reality show sends its host, Pennington, and a crew of designers, contractors, builders and volunteers to the home of a family in need of a big surprise — a dream home makeover. The crew completes the makeover in the course of a week, whereas a typical makeover might take months.

How to apply for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

How to nominate: E-mail a short description of your family or another family in need to Nominations must include:

  • The names and ages of each household member
  • A description of the major challenges within the home
  • An explanation of why this family is deserving, heroic or a positive role model in Columbia
  • A contact phone number

For more information: Go to

“We’re ready to come to Columbia if we find families in need,” ABC casting producer Stephen Pleadwell said.

The chances of a family being chosen from Columbia, Pleadwell said, increases with the volume of nominations sent.

Pleadwell also said people can nominate neighbors or friends in need because some deserving families might not nominate themselves.  

“People might not recognize their own needs,” Pleadwell said.

The deadline for nominations is May 1.

Families who are interested must own their single-family home and the property it sits on, Pleadwell said. To qualify, families must also show producers how the makeover will make a difference in and improve their lives.

“What we (producers) are essentially looking for is a family in dire need, as well as a home in dire need,” Pleadwell said.

If a Columbia family is chosen for a home makeover, producers will provide information about volunteering to work on the project, he said.

However, if the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition bus doesn’t make a stop in Columbia, there are other ways to get help for a home in need.

With funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant, Columbia's owner-occupied housing rehabilitation program provides loans and grants to help low-income property owners make home improvements they need.

Tom Latta, a community development coordinator, said the homes are improved to meet the standards defined by Columbia’s minimum property standards. The improvements help to meet all-city code requirements as well.

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Angie huhman April 20, 2009 | 4:44 p.m.

What about nominating a animal shelter in need? If we could change the perception of the "dog pound" being a dark, sad place, we could create a place where people WANT to come when looking for a pet. Our entire community would benefit from a warm welcoming place to bring our kids for summer camps and educational classes, our dogs for social hour or obedience classes, most families have at least one pet, this type of facility would benefit us all!

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr April 20, 2009 | 5:12 p.m.

Angie huhman many times on the local Yahoo! Group Listservs a very nice lady has offered up 50 acres of her own land just for such a grand project as you suggest above to no avail I guess as nothing has ever been heard about it again nor has she responded that anybody in this community contacted her either.

(Report Comment)
Matt Y April 20, 2009 | 6:23 p.m.

Isn't this that show where they upgrade a poor family's house with amenities that they don't need and then saddle them with the increased property taxes that they likely can't pay?

(Report Comment)
Matt Y April 20, 2009 | 6:24 p.m.

I guess there would also be maintenance and repair costs that Extreme Home Makeover won't likely be paying.

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin April 20, 2009 | 6:34 p.m.

I nominated this family, and sent along these articles. They actually have a house, on 8th Street, but for some reason live in a trailer. The house is probably in worse shape than the trailer. Seems like good timing, since their story is laid out pretty well between the two papers.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro April 20, 2009 | 6:49 p.m.

My kind of thinking.
Unfortunately, this ain't the television show to make that happen.
Maybe "Pepper and Friends" could start getting word out about the unused Sinclair Farm currently waiting for some good pet-friendly use.
From what I've been following in the community newspapers, I second Columbia Heartbeat's nomination.
If they "win" they can sell or rent out the trailer to help offset any new tax liabilities.

(Report Comment)
Katie Gray April 20, 2009 | 7:29 p.m.

I would just like to say that I love this show. I have recently found out that some of ex-workers are nominating me for this and feel very blesses as we really could us this opportunity. We are a combined family of 7 getting ready to be 8, between the two of us I have 3 Kids and he has 2 and we are in the process of getting gardianship of his nephew who is 12 we currently live in a 3 bedroom house with one bath to share and the house is just falling apart. We have tried very hard to take care of some of the things but with my recent lay off and him having to file bankrupcy a year ago there is only so much you can do.

I could only wish and hope that Extreme Home Makeover would come in and help us out so that we can give our kids a better home to live in.

(Report Comment)

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