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Police officers work to help co-worker

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By the look and sounds of the house on Harper Village Road, it's apparent Ms. Winnie Moyer has lived here a long time.

She's the matriarch of the Harper family, raising 12 children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews over the years.

The soon-to-be 76 year old was also a member of the housekeeping staff at the Austin Police Department.

"17 years and 9 months I worked there," said Winnie.

She's retired from that job, but still works two part-time gigs to help support her family members, several of whom live with her.

"Broke, don't make as much money as I used to," Winnie said.

"At her age, I think she should enjoy the fruits of retirement and be able to continue to raise the kids," said Retired APD Commander, Jim O'Leary. "Most of us know her as the friendly face we would see working down at the main headquarters...Winnie is part of our extended family."

That's why the Austin Police Retired Officers Association and Austin Cops for Charities are working together, fundraising to replace Ms. Winnie's home with a new one.

"The home is essentially irreparable," said O'Leary.

It's going to take at least about $50,000, which doesn't include demolition costs.

"We're hoping we can get done of the services at a discounted rate or gratis," O'Leary said.

The house sits on family owned property, and Ms. Winnie and her neighbors are all related.

"I ain't going nowhere. If it falls down, I'll just get me a tent," said Winnie.


She's what you would call "unsworn," a civilian member of the police department, but it doesn't make her any less important.

"Given the bureaucratic red tape, it would take forever to get this moved to the top of the list and beyond that, it's our responsibility. It's a family member," O'Leary said.

"I fuss at myself all the time. I think good God, Lord I've been so good to different people. I've raised 12 children and then look at me. I say, I know you ain't intend for me to live like this," Winnie said.

She may not have too much longer. The goal is to have Ms. Winnie in a new home within the year.

If you would like to donate what you can, please visit the Austin Cops for Charities website.

Click on the "donate" tab and select the "Winnie Project."

LINK: Austin Cops for Charities

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