March 30, 2008 06:59 PM by DA Southern
Ty Pennington, always one for the dramatic, was seen getting off of an Air Force Bomber as he landed in Delaware on the 50-state tour to help families across America rebuild their lives.
Ty greeted designers, designers Paul DiMeo, Tracy Hutson, Paige Hemmis and Eduardo Xol as he introduced the Latif family of Wilmington, Delaware. Ty told the designers that the family had once lived in a homeless shelter but had advanced but still needed the Extreme gang’s help to get ahead.
Ju-Juanna Latif struggled through a dysfunctional home life, dropped out of high school and became a single teen mother. As she tried to get her life on track, things took a turn for the worse when she and her young son, Antonio, were forced to move into a homeless shelter. She didn’t give up wanting a better life for her family, so in the shelter Ju-Juanna obtained life skills, took parenting classes and received job training.
After getting her GED, she went to college, toting her son on eight busses a day. Eventually she entered a work-study program, landed a job, had three more kids and was able to afford a home. She became involved with her church’s mentoring program and worked as a social service worker for many years, where she had the opportunity to share her experience and inspire others to improve their lives. Ju-Juanna has been recognized by the community and now gives motivational speeches. Additionally, the family has adopted “Miss Rose” Chatman, who lives next door to them, into their family.
An earlier day than usual started on Day 1 as Ty greeted the family at 7:42 AM, and for the unsuspecting neighbors as well, with the megaphone calling the family out. Of course, he was mobbed by the group who were overjoyed to see the team and Paige was touched by how Antonio, the older son, was pleased to see that something wonderful was about to happen to his mom. Ty told them they were off to Disney World but first the designers would meet with the kids while Ty and Ju-Juanna went to see the cramped quarters.
Ty was amazed how difficult it was just to deliver the wheel-chair bound child into the house, which was not handicap-accessible, as Paul was looking at the pink room of Ju-Juanna, Jr. Ty continued to see the conditions that the family had been living in and was touched by how much Ju-Juanna had attempted to give her family the best.
Paul determined that the daughter wanted a canopy bed and was determined to be a judge. Paige saw young Aaron’s room that he shared with his brother and saw his love of sharks and that he cares for his little brother like a shark, as Eduardo was with Miss Rose on her side of the duplex and noticed that it was in as bad, if not worse condition, than the Latif family’s side.
After Ty and the gang sent the family to Disney World, the Extreme team had to do quite a bit of planning for the demo by packing up the two homes and putting up scaffolding up to make sure adjacent homes were not damaged in the demo of the home, which put the build behind with the demo team and local builder’s, Anderson Homes, and the hundreds of volunteers not arriving on the scene until late on Day 2.
The demo and build quickly commenced after Ty sent the obligatory video of the demo with fireworks blazing in the background as we saw Day 2 quietly slip into Day 3 as we picked up the action at 9:49 AM. Eduardo showed us that the home would take on a similar appearance as before with a duplex feel to accommodate Miss Rose.
Paige was seen at the coolest Aquarium ever looking for inspiration for Aaron’s shark room as we quickly saw Day 4 arrive at 10:01 AM. Paul was showing us around the infrastructure of the framed out home and the elevator shaft that was being put in to accommodate James in his wheelchair. Tracy and Paul took a trip to the shelter that Ju-Juanna spent time in years ago and sent a video to the vacationing family showing the help that CVS Pharmacy donated to help the shelter’s families in need.
Day 5 greeted our eyes at 8:33 AM with Paige showing us the solar panels being installed on the roof of the home and other energy efficient elements being installed in the home. We finally got a glimpse of Ty’s secret room, Ju-Juanna’s Master Bedroom, as we wondered what he had been up to. Ty called older son, Antonio, to have him write a poem for his secret project and announced that he would use it in the project. Eduardo was in Miss Rose’s bedroom and said that the room would truly reflect the grand lady that she was and Ty was seen directing the furniture being delivered to the two homes to be ready for the arrival of the family.
“Move that bus” day arrived as the limo pulled up with the anxious family inside. Awaiting them were the volunteers and workers and the community that had come to support the Latif family. The family poured from the car and warmly greeted Ty and the bus pulled away to reveal a beautiful home that perfectly fit with the character of the adjoining properties, except it was without blemish. After Ty introduced the builders who told the family that there would never be another mortgage payment, Ty sent them into the home.
The family was shocked as to the space that was available to be able to wheel James around as Ty showed Ju-Juanna the elevator that would accommodate the boy. Ty immediately took Ju-Juanna outside to show her the Ford SUV that had been donated for the family and was equipped to accommodate James and his wheelchair.
Ty sent everybody else to see their rooms and first in was Ju-Juanna, Jr. and her pink room was complete with a canopy bed and an actual Judge’s bench for the girl to do her homework in. Aaron was next into his shark room and loved all of the different sharks that adorned the room. Son, Antonio, saw his room and was “down with it”, as the kids say, and even did a very nice rap about his adoration of the room. Ty showed the colorful room for James to Ju-Juanna and told her that CVS had supplied all of the needs for the boy.
Miss Rose went into her side of the house and was shocked that it was all for her and you could tell that she was truly grateful and, finally, Ty sent Ju-Juanna into her Master Bedroom. It was as elegant as any that Ty has done for quite a while as Ty showed her the features of the room and the poem that Antonio had written displayed prominently in the center of the room.
Ty brought all of the designers together with the family as Ju-Juanna said that it truly was a dream come true and safer for her children as Ty gave us the “Welcome home, Latif family, welcome home.” Oh, and the Ty-larious moment,it actually occurred during the credits when Ty and Paul were seen having a wallpaper fight of some kind. Hey, that’s the best I could do for you tonight.
Photo Courtesy of ABC