Thursday, 22 October 2020

‘A whole new life’: Before and after Green Bay house renovation

by Mike Murad, FOX 11 News

Deborah Kalishek spent part of last winter without heat and electricity in her Green Bay home. (Photo courtesy Roger Van Lanen)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) — A Green Bay area group is making a difference with a home makeover.

We first showed you Deborah Kalishek’s Green Bay house in May, which was in such bad shape it was in danger of being condemned.

Volunteers with Rebuilding Together have now finished the major upgrades.

“They’ve just given me a whole new life,” says Kalishek.

Earlier this year Kalishek was living among mounds of clothing and cartons.

But that was only part of the problem.

She also had no heat and the plumbing wasn’t working properly.

Over 150 volunteer hours and more than $50,000 went into Kalishek’s home, and without the help of volunteers and Rebuilding Together, she might not have a roof over her head right now.

“She was probably just a couple of weeks from losing this home, because of code violations,” says Roger Van Lanen, a board member of Rebuilding Together of Greater Green Bay. “That’s our mission. Keep people safe and warm in their homes.”

House Captain Steven McFarlane says the house transformation is helping transform Kalishek too. “It’s so good for her to have a peace of mind that she has heat, and she has running water and all those things we take for granted,” says McFarlane.

From the ceiling to the basement, volunteers got to work lending their time and talents at no charge. Highlights include a new bathroom with a working toilet and shower, new windows, flooring for the kitchen, paint on the inside and siding on the outside.

“It’s like starting over after 7 years of living here,” says Kalishek.

Kalishek is still in the process of tidying up after the remodel, but says she’s looking forward to her new life in what’s become her new house.

And she says the lesson she learned through her makeover is that a perfect stranger can also be a perfect hero.

“You find sometimes that it’s the strangers in your life that come to your rescue, more than the people you know,” says Kalishek. “There aren’t enough words to be grateful.”


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