Volunteers keep memories alive in family home

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Her family's home for 3 generations was falling apart, the cost to repair collapsed ceilings and sinking floors too much. But an East Texas woman's need for help didn't go unnoticed. This Wednesday, Habitat for Humanity and Tyler city officials will kickoff an emergency renovation project.

On a wall, in a frame, sitting on the floor, Olivia Clark shares the love of her family with every guest to her home. Photos capture nearly fifty years of family history, memories made in the little yellow house on Ben Street in Tyler.

"My mother was a great lady and she wanted to provide a place for us to stay," said Clark.

But time has taken its toll on the home she grew up in. "The roof started giving in and the house is pretty old," said Olivia. A disability left her on a fixed income unable to maintain the home as it fell into disrepair.

Duct tape and plastic do their best to keep the water out, a tarp covered roof doing little to keep the ceiling from caving in. A collapsing floor coupled with permanently leaking plumbing left Olivia with little hope of keeping the home.

"I wanted repairs on it because of my mom," said Olivia."I just continuously prayed about it and God answered my prayer."

The answer came when Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass helped Clark qualify for Habitat for Humanity's Re-Habitat Program. Other agencies soon volunteered to return Ms. Clark's home to the one of her youth.

Habitat for Humanity plus city and state officials will be on hand 10 A.M. Wednesday morning to officially announce the project. Ms. Clark can expect the renovations to be underway as soon as the new year starts.

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