Hawkins community rallies to help renovate woman’s house

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Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 6:35 PM CDT
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HAWKINS, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas community came to the rescue for an elderly woman living in deplorable conditions, and gave her a rebuilt place to call home.

It started around a week ago when Hawkins police came to the aid of a resident who had medical issues, and the officers and citizens did much more than she expected.

It was a welfare concern for Jane Curtis at her Hawkins home last week by police chief Manfred Gilow that revealed startling living conditions.

″Once I stepped into the house and saw how she lived, she has nobody. It was very dirty, trash in the entire house. The bathtub was stopped up, the toilet was stopped up,” the chief says.

Miss Curtis needs oxygen 24-7, and had just been released from ICU earlier in the month.

“I had nothing but my babies, my dogs, to love on me. And I didn’t know what I was going to do,” Jane says.

The chief took it upon himself to change these conditions, and enlisted the community to help.

“The response was, it makes me smile. A lot of people donated, we ripped the carpet out, flooring was donated. We got her furniture,” Gilow says.

The police department put Jane up in a local motel with their own money, then with the help of volunteers, went to work cleaning and remodeling the home in seven days.

“It was unbelievable that someone was living in a house like this. No real furniture, no refrigerator. A lady that needed a lot of help that didn’t want to ask for help,” says volunteer Renee Kelly.

Miss Jane was introduced to her revamped home, and for many, it was like coming to the aid of a family member.

“I enjoy it. I enjoy helping, it was almost like helping my grandmother who I lost years ago,” said volunteer Justin Mayer.

“I couldn’t believe it. You have no idea how I... This is wonderful,” Curtis says.

The chief says they have made arrangements to have food delivered to miss Curtis through Meals on Wheels, and a 24-hour nursing service has been activated for her.

Neighbors say they will visit her often.

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