Mrs. Walker's home rehab


My name is Camille Calvin, I am writing today because of a very special woman named Orlean Walker.  She is a widowed wife of Veteran Sgt. Bedford Walker, and has fallen on some tough times and is in need of some help.  I've known Mrs. Walker all of my life.  When I was a young my parents would take me to Mrs. Walkers home for the summer while they worked because they weren’t able to afford childcare.  I was always so excited to go there.  It was so different from the city that I was from in Atlanta.  It was deep in the country and I liked all of the animals there and playing out doors.   We would do things that I never got to do at home.  Mrs. Walker would take me fishing.  We would go to large fields full of vegetables and fruit, where we would fill basket after basket. In her back yard she had a large pecan tree, a plumb tree, a peach tree, blackberries, blueberries, and a large garden where she planted seasonal fruit and vegetables.  I would help her in her own garden, planting seeds and picking the same fruit that I planted really blew my mind. These are things that I never got to do in the city where my parents lived.  She taught me all about packaging the food, learning how to shell peas and freeze them so they’ll last.  She’d show me how jar veggies, and how to make jellies and jams from the left over fruit.  We made home cooked meals in her kitchen everyday from scratch.   She taught me how to sew and really the list goes on and on. It was all so adventurous to me as a kid. I really saw her as a mother figure. We would spend lots of time talking about life. I could talk to her about anything, and I did.    I feel like the time that I spent with Mrs. Walker as a child, has really molded me into the person that I am today.  

I was not the only child who got to experience this.  Over the years this home has been a haven to dozens upon dozens of local children in the community. Orlean has opened her doors and her garden to families in need, often supplying them with fresh produce right out of her backyard.

This home that was once a shining light in the community has deteriorated and has been unlivable for quite some time now. Orlean, without anywhere else to go, continues to live in the home.
With your help we know we can return Orlean’s home back into a place where the children of Forrest City Arkansas feel safe and welcome. Below is a list of issues that we will be addressing if we reach our goal.

Currently the roof is completely deteriorated and needs to be rebuilt. When it rains it leaks throughout the entire house. You can see the holes going through the roof from the outside of the home. And when you're inside of the house you can hear an abundance of squirrels that are living within the roof.

The kitchen has broken floor boards that causes the floor to sink in. The sink doesn't work, so she's unable to wash dishes, leaving her to wash them in a large bowl and pour the water outside. The piping is leaking under the sink. The cabinets are falling apart.

Over the years, the house has settled into the soil, causing the windows to separate from the walls. In the blistering humid summers no cool air can stay inside the house, in the icy winters the heat suffers the same fate. We will get windows re-fitted and sealed in.  We will also get security bars for the windows.

There are two entrances to her home.  The wood doors are flemsey and falling apart. We would like to replace her wooden doors and include a rod iron security door for each entrance.  

Her home has two bathrooms.  The walls and floor boards around both tubs need to be replaced.  The fixtures (sink, toilet, medicine cabinet and tub) are very old and carroded. They can either be resored or replaced with new fixtures.

The walls in the home are wood paneling without any insulation.  I would love get the wood paneling replaced with an insulation and sheet rock. 

The electricity in the home seems to be working fine.  However there is an electrical box in the hallway closet with exposed wires.  We would like to bring in a specialist to make sure that the wires are safely enclosed, and that there are no fire hazards.

There is currently half of a fence that seperates the front yard from the back yard.  Panels of the fence have been kicked down from tresspassers trying to walk through the yard to access a neighboorhood that was built behind Mrs. Walker's plot of land.  We would like to replace the fence with a stronger one and enclose the entire yard with the fence.  

$47,000 is the quote that we got from a local contractor who took a look at her house last month.  His includes everything listed above, except for the fence.

We will happily take donated supplies or gift cards to home improvement stores to complete this project. And If you are local to Forrest City, AR and would like to help us rehab, we will gladly take any volunteers.


Camille Calvin 
Los Angeles, CA

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