‘Habitat’ homes nearly done


Curtis Almeter

Ed Baker, of Edna, Kan., sweeps the inside of Habitat for Humanity number five on Kentucky St.

Lakin Adams


Joplin and Tulsa area’s Habitat for Humanity finished up the Ten for Joplin project today. 

10 families will receive new homes just in time for the holidays, and some already have big plans. 

Carrie Cook, a single mom of two boys, Aiden, 7 and Zachary, 8 says that being chosen is the “silver lining” in the storm. 

“God has been the center of everything,” she said. 

“Dad called me one day and said ‘Have you thought about a Habitat house?’ I intended to sneak in the back of the meeting they were having. They were just so welcoming and talking to me one-on-one. 

“I was filling out an application five minutes after I was there. It kind of [had a] domino effect after that.” 

Currently, Cook and her two sons share an apartment with her mother. 

Cook plans to hold Thanksgiving festivities at her new home and is looking forward to Christmas. Cook has already purchased her Christmas tree and admits that the tree will probably be up before Thanksgiving. 

“We’re real excited for Christmas this year,” she said. 

Thomas and Samantha Short are also receive a new home, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect. 

“We found out we were pregnant right after we found out we got the house,” Samantha said. 

Thomas and Samantha are already parents to four children, Gavin, Chloe, McKenna, and Morgan, and they’re looking forward to one on the way.  

The Shorts are currently living in the FEMA trailers, and after seeing one of the fliers, Samantha decided to tell her husband about the Habitat project later that week. 

A couple weeks after the couple applied, they found out they made it to the interview stage of the process. 

Bob Harrington, physical plant director from Missouri Southern, visited the home, and a few weeks later the family got a call with the good news; they would be getting a new home. 

“As long as we’ve been together, we’ve talked about floor plans and said, ‘We’re going to build our own home,'” Thomas said. 

“Now it’s going to be a reality.” 

The families have already made plans and are excited to spend the holidays with families and friends. 

“Before it was even started we let everybody know Thanksgiving was going to be at our house,” Thomas Short said. 

Both families have already decided that traditions will be a big part of their family once they move into the new homes, with Thanksgiving being the starting point. 

“My dad is going to come over this year,” Cook said. 

“[We’re] going to start some new traditions.”

For the Short family, they’re looking forward to the Christmas season already, and Samantha hopes to bring some of the traditions from her childhood to her kids. 

“Growing up, my grandma would always have us over for Thanksgiving dinner, and after dinner we would all put up the Christmas tree,.” she said.

“I plan on making that a tradition again. I loved it and I know my kids will.” 

Short plans to have Thanksgiving every year in her new home in hopes to help bring her family closer together. 

The families will receive the keys to their new homes at 2 p.m. tomorrow.