A family moved from South Carolina to Denver to try and make a better life for their two little girls. Then, just weeks before Christmas, they got kicked out of the motel where they were living for speaking out about its unsafe condition. Thanks to the generosity of Denver7 viewers, staff, and some other Denver-based businesses, the family received a more suitable apartment just in time for the holidays.
Denver Family Receives New Apartment For Christmas
Near the beginning of December, Eddie Walker and his wife Ragen spoke to Denver7 news about the poor conditions of the motel where they were living with their two young daughters. They had no electricity for weeks and there were dangerous wires sticking out in several places. Eddie told the reporters how they powered their air conditioner using the neighbor’s power supply because theirs didn’t work. (1)
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“My air conditioning is running off my neighbor’s power, and we have all these funny wires everywhere,” Walker said in the original interview. “He canceled on the job because he said there’s no way he could fix it. They left live wires open, and I have two small kids here.” (2)
Apparently, the landlord was not happy about the bad publicity that Eddie and Ragen’s interview gave their motel. A few days after the interview aired, they kicked the Walker family out. The couple was now stuck with nowhere to go in the wintertime only weeks before Christmas.
“They came, and they basically said, ‘either you have the money or you have to leave,'” said Walker. “So, we left.”
Viewers Lent A Hand
Denver7 found out about what happened to the Walkers because of the interview. After hearing the family’s story, Denver7 viewers took action. Viewers donated generously to help the family out and ended up raising more than $14,000. The money was not only enough to find the family an apartment, but Denver7 was able to furnish it, too – including a decorated Christmas tree.
Denver Apartment Finders helped the news outlet find the family a suitable apartment. When the Echelon Property Group, which owns Mosaic Apartments where the family now lives, heard their story, they couldn’t say no.
“I saw the story on the news and kind of tugged on my heartstrings, of course,” said Robyn Nicholson, regional manager at Echelon Property Group.
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More Businesses On Board
Local businesses Arc Thrift Stores and American Furniture Warehouse got involved as well. They each filled up a truck full of furniture for the house, including beds and mattresses. The employees even went in and set up the whole place so that it would be ready and look nice for the family’s arrival.
Finally, Denver7 anchors Anne Trujillo and Shannon Ogden came in to put on the final touches and make the house feel like a home. They are extremely grateful to Denver Apartment Finders for finding a suitable apartment so quickly. They are also thankful to Nicholson and Echelon Property Group for getting the family in on such short notice. Lastly, thanks to the money donated by the Denver7 viewers, there was enough to buy the two little girls plenty of gifts that they then stacked underneath the Christmas tree.
“To be able to have an apartment with furniture, gifts for the little girls who are just adorable… we’re changing their lives today,” Nicholson said.
The Big Reveal
Of course, the Denver7 team was very excited when they could finally show the Walker family their new home. The Walkers had no idea that the apartment would be fully furnished and ready to move into. When they entered the place, they were at first at a loss for words. The news anchor asked them how they felt. Regan responded saying that it had been extremely difficult before she got choked up with emotions. (3)
The family talked about how grateful they were. A few days prior, they were living in a dingy, dangerous motel room. Then they were homeless. Today, they have a lovely furnished two-bedroom apartment to call home. They did a walkthrough of the home, including the girl’s room with two twin beds and the master bedroom with a nice, big king.
“We want to thank Denver7, because if they didn’t take our story we wouldn’t be here today.” Ragen said.
“I don’t have words, man.” said Eddie.
Finally, not only did they get them a home, but Mosaic Apartments offered Eddie a job. Using the last of the money from Denver7 views, they gave the family some gift cards to use at Safeway, King Supers, and Target. What started out looking like a difficult holiday season for the Walker family turned out to be the most magical of them all.
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- ” Family kicked out of motel is surprised with new apartment, holiday gifts thanks to Denver7 viewers.” The Denver Channel. Russell Haythorn. December 14, 2021.
- “Denver family stuck in the dark after 5 days without power in Colfax hotel.” The Denver Channel. Sloan Dickey. November 30, 2021.
- “Family kicked out of motel is surprised with new apartment, holiday gifts thanks to Denver7 viewers.” Youtube. Denver7- The denver Channel. December 13, 2021.