Volunteers from various organizations in Glendale came together to transform the home of Katheryn Baarson, a 67-year-old disabled Marine veteran, from a state of despair to one of hope and comfort.

Katheryn Baarson, who served as an active-duty Marine during the 1970s, found herself struggling with a hoarding disorder, leading her home into an unlivable condition. Concerned Glendale police sergeants took notice of her plight and spearheaded an initiative that turned a routine citation into a full-scale renovation project worth over $150,000.

With the support of organizations such as Operation Enduring Gratitude, Vets for Vets, and the Boy Scouts, the community rallied around Baarson. The project involved extensive cleaning, landscaping, fence repair, window installations, and more. Boy Scout Vance Cuthbertson took charge of the initiative as part of his Eagle Scout project, emphasizing the importance of honoring those who served their country.

The transformation was not merely physical; it was also a testament to the power of trust and community bonding. Sgt. Jeff Turney, one of the leading officers behind the project, shared how it took a year of effort to gain Baarson’s trust. Eventually, she welcomed the volunteers, and the renovation work began in earnest.

The condition of Baarson’s home had deteriorated to a point where she had to live in a hotel due to health concerns arising from the heaps of trash and pests. City code citations were issued in 2020, but it took the collective effort of the community to bring about lasting change. Baarson’s house was cleansed of all debris, infestations, and unsafe conditions.

The project, which began on Valentine’s Day weekend, saw an outpouring of support. More than three dozen volunteers initially turned up, and their numbers almost doubled throughout the day. The once-overwhelmed home now boasts a freshly painted exterior, beautifully landscaped surroundings, new windows, and gently used appliances, all donated by the generous Glendale community.

Baarson expressed her overwhelming gratitude for the support, emphasizing the importance of seeking help when needed. Her story serves as a beacon of hope, encouraging others, especially veterans, to reach out when faced with challenges.

This remarkable endeavor showcases the true spirit of community, reminding us all of the power of compassion and collective action. Glendale stands united, proving that together, we can make a significant difference in the lives of those in need.

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