Gov. Nixon, joined by Mizzou Tigers athletes and coaches, announces the first families selected for homes through the Governor's 2012 Joplin Habitat Challenge

April 24, 2012
More than 2,000 volunteers have registered to help build homes for Joplin families
Joplin, MO

As the one-year anniversary of the Joplin tornado approaches, Gov. Jay Nixon was joined by the Mizzou Tigers this evening to announce the first Habitat Partner Families who will receive help building their new homes through the 2012 Governor's Joplin Habitat Challenge.

The 2012 Governor's Joplin Habitat Challenge is a partnership between the state of Missouri, Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity and Missouri's major athletic organizations that aims to build 35 new homes in the heart of Joplin this year. The EF-5 tornado 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.

"We are committed to helping these families, and many more, build new homes and create new opportunities right here in the heart of Joplin," Gov. Nixon said. "The Joplin Habitat Challenge will plant the seeds of recovery in neighborhoods destroyed nearly one year ago, and we are pleased to announce the first families with whom we're partnering in this effort."

The Habitat Partner Families announced today include the Davis, Hill/Rankin, and Robinson families.

  • Pamela Davis has worked at Wal-Mart for more than a decade and is mom to sons Deondre and Rashawn, and daughter Kameray.
  • Brandie Hill and Justin Rankin have two little ones at home, Lucas and baby Brylee. Justin works at Reagent Chemical and Research.  
  • Ashli Robinson works at Mercy Hospital and is mom to daughter, Jadyn, and son, Garren.  

Habitat Partner families have met comprehensive eligibility requirements and have made a commitment to invest sweat equity into the construction of their new home, in addition to covering the monthly mortgage payments

"The 2012 Governor's Joplin Habitat Challenge is helping us address the immediate need for affordable housing in the city, while laying the foundation for long-term recovery through the ongoing resources these mortgages will provide," said Scott Clayton, executive director of Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity. "We look forward to connecting the thousands of volunteers with our partner families as they build their new homes." 

"Tiger fans across the state, and across the country, are committed to the critical mission of helping Joplin rebuild," said Mike Alden, Athletic Director for the University of Missouri. "We are proud to lend our continued support and to work alongside our fellow Show-Me State athletes as we take the Governor's Challenge and make these houses a reality."

Meanwhile, 2,000 people have signed up for Gov. Jay Nixon's 2012 Governor's Joplin Habitat Challenge to serve as volunteers. The volunteers who have registered to lend their support on the ground in Joplin include both individual and group registrations. Missourians who wish to register to volunteer for the Challenge with the athletic organization of their choice, or to contribute in the initiative's support, are encouraged to visit today.

The 35 homes to be built through the 2012 Governor's Joplin Habitat Challenge will be located in seven different neighborhoods, with each neighborhood assigned a sponsor among the seven Missouri athletic organizations. Players, coaches, alumni, broadcasters and front office staff from each organization will visit their neighborhood to serve alongside volunteers and professional builders in assisting with the construction, including framing and siding, painting and landscaping.

Additionally, Gov. Nixon's administration is providing a $3.6 million Community Development Block Grant to help purchase the land and materials for the homes, and to hire the professional builders.

Missourians can go to and register to volunteer with the team of their choice, or contribute in the name of their favorite team.