Everyone expected Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to reveal Houston's chosen family Sunday with a "door knock." Instead, it happened Saturday during a matinee at Houston's Improv Comedy Club.
Breaking from tradition on the reality series, Ty Pennington and his crew stormed the stage to tell Eric and Elaine Johnson and their five daughters — who were in the crowd — that their house was about to be rebuilt.
The Johnsons have been married 15 years and have a background in youth mentoring. Acting on what they saw as the disintegration of the family within the African-American community, the couple pursued their counseling license and started a marriage and family counseling nonprofit — Optimum Lifestyle.
The organization tries to build trust and strengthen the family unit through activities and seminars. Eric is especially passionate about African-American fathers playing a larger role in their kids' lives.
The Johnsons inherited a run-down inner city home they intended to renovate. After Hurricane Ike and the economic downturn, the house has remained dilapidated — which is where Extreme Makeover comes into the picture.
Now the family is on a dream vacation while their home gets a makeover during a week-long rebuild. Local builders HHN Homes have organized volunteer and donation opportunities on their website.
The home is at 3613 Goodhope Street (perfect name for the family's street). Volunteer parking is at 1901 Airport Drive.