Former homeless stresses counting

By Donna McCollum - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Going home for Eva Walker reveals a past that shaped her future.

Today, in the bowels of Rivercrest, she hunts for yet another homeless child, man or woman.

From age 11, Walker lived alone at this house and a roadside park. Occasionally empathetic adults would take her in. Her mother used her as a child prostitute.

Hidden from view is an abandoned shack and delivery truck. Eva knows who lives here.

"He a meth-addicted transvestite," Walker said.

She doesn't judge. She only attempts to help.

"You know if they did it, they can do it," Walker said. "You know, I'm not any different. I'm not any special person. If God did it for me, he can do it for them."

Not all homeless live out of sight. Walker knows a man who chooses to live out of this truck in the middle of Lufkin, even though help is a stone's throw away.

"Right out in front of the coalition," Walker said. "Right there. The coalition has all the services that you would want."

The homeless man is counted, as are the individuals Walker has seen in a vacant house.

She counts the homeless because the homeless count.

"I heard there was a lady living here and I wanted to make sure she had the resources she needed," Walker said.

Walker is founder of the Sheepfold. It's the only long-term transitional housing in the area for women and their children.

"We don't just need to take ladies in and change their address. We need to help them change their life," Walker said.

Godtel turned Walker's life around for the better. Now the registered nurse is wanting to do the same for others. It's her mission in life.

The National Center on Family Homelessness ranks Texas at the bottom for helping the homeless. Walker's work, and a homeless prevention program by Nacogdoches Love In The Name Of Christ are the exception.

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