MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – He’s the voice of the Good Neighbor Station in Murfreesboro, but when he’s not behind the microphone, Scott Walker is an advocate for an overlooked segment of Rutherford County.
Being a good neighbor is not just a station brand. It’s who Walker is to people who really need a friend.
“Local radio is interesting. It’s so focused on the community. It is about caring,” he told News 2.
But there’s more to the morning newsman than meets the eye. Walker likes to photograph people in their own settings.
It’s a hobby he picked up while serving in the U.S. Navy, and he has a special affection for the homeless community.
“They got a huge story, a huge past, that’s usually devastating and hard for average people to understand or believe it,” Walker explained.
One of his most memorable is Levi, a blind man who turned to alcohol and became homeless after one of his daughters died as an infant and the other was taken away.
“He never looked back into the death of his daughter, and he hadn’t been to her gravesite in six years or so. We found it, gave him time alone just to sit there. I think it helped,” Walker told News 2.
He understood Levi’s pain because of his own secret that drove him to alcohol.
“When I was around 11 or 12 years old, I was sexually abused by a man in our neighborhood. Never told anyone about it. Never really knew what to do about it, so at 13, I started drinking,” he shared.
Walker continued drinking until he discovered the root cause of his addiction, and last year, more than 20 years later, he told police.
“The guy came in for questioning and admitted to what he had done to me as a kid. We took the case to the DA and that’s when we learned the case couldn’t be prosecuted because the statute of limitations had been reached.”
But knowing the source of his alcoholism, Walker began to heal. Now, he’s reaching out to 29-year-old Sean, who lives at a campsite in the woods.
“I’ve been homeless since I was 18, on and off, and I’m 30 now, and it’s just because of mistakes and stuff I’ve made in my life,” Sean told News 2.
“So often the only thing somebody really needs in life is to have somebody sit down and listen to them. If you give a lending ear at times to somebody, that alone can change a life,” Walker said.
Walker partners with local resources to meet people’s immediate needs. Sometimes it’s as simple as a sleeping bag and food, or as costly as a plane ticket to a treatment facility.