Volunteer Cleanup

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

The home of a disabled couple has been condemned because they couldn't maintain it, but the hard work of several stateline charities could mean an exciting homecoming for the Rockford family.

In May, the city condemned Ellan and Larry Schubert's Rockford home. Because of their cognitive disabilities, the couple didn't clean or repair the home, and they found themselves homeless.

"It's gotta be the worse feeling to have the idea that you could have to leave your home. And it would mean a lot to make it so they can stay here," says Eric Bernhard.

A team of volunteers is stepping in to help the Schubert’s.

"We want to get some of the old stuff our, clean it up and make it liveable again," Amy Balge says.

It's a long progress cleaning up years of filth and dirt from animals and the homeowners. It's also hard explaining the whole process to the couple.

"There's been a little resistance because it's very difficult for her that she's collected all of these treasures over the years," says Rhonda Barrigas.

It's up to the city to decide whether they Schubert’s can return to their home. It will likely take more than cleaning to bring the house to code but volunteers are hopeful that others will step in to help.

"It's going to be grace that gets us by, we're excited," Berhard says.

Neighbors who complained about the home for years aren't excited to see the couple return, but are hopefully that outside organizations can help the Schuberts. The Schubert’s are grateful for the help and can't wait to get back home.

"I want to get it all cleared up. That's all that matters to me," says Ellan Schubert.

It will be a long process but these volunteers are pitching in to make it happen. To ensure that the Schubert's home doesn't fall into disrepair again, ramp will make regular checks on the couple and help them get weekly house cleaning services. The home is in need of tree trimming, flooring and electrical work.


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