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Home makeover in the making

Deborah Kalishek's Green Bay home is getting a makeover courtesy of Rebuilding Together. (Courtesy WLUK)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- After spending part of the winter without electricity or running water, things are looking better for a Green Bay woman.

She’s getting a home makeover.

But electricity and water were only some of the problems Deborah Kalishek faced recently.

Kalishek says her house was in danger of being condemned. And when volunteers checked out the inside, they encountered another roadblock.

“This was her primary bedroom and you literally could not get in,” says Roger Van Lanen, a board member of the non-profit foundation Rebuilding Together. “There was debris piled all the way up.”

Not only was the bedroom blocked with mounds of clothing, cartons and other items, but so was the living room and kitchen.

Because of that, Kalishek spent months sleeping on a small, cleared section of the couch.

That’s when volunteers with Rebuilding Together stepped in.

Now they’re in the process of giving the entire home a major upgrade.

“We got here in February and discovered she had no heat. In about five hours we cleared everything out of the house, got the heat source going, got the stove going, and did some necessary plumbing to get the toilet working,” says Van Lanen.

Kalishek says she’s extremely grateful for the help she’s receiving, along with her four-legged friend, Pip.

“I don’t think I can possibly explain how appreciative I am,” says Kalishek.

Kalishek says a number of factors contributed to her situation, including a disability, and a death in the family. She was even planning to move until that option fell through several years ago. The result was boxes of belongings she didn’t have the strength to move, either physically or mentally.

“I had pretty much lost all hope, which is why I spent three to six months laying on the sofa,” says Kalishek.

The job is far from finished. New siding will be installed on the outside of the house, along with new flooring, windows, painting and plumbing on the inside.

“It’s more than a life saver,” says Kalishek. “It’s a sanity saver. It’s everything. It means everything to me.”

Starting Saturday, about 40 volunteers will be on site, making repairs to the home and property. Van Lanen expects the renovation to be complete sometime the following week.

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