Sunday, January 30, 2011

In Dallas, three disabled seniors stuck with no heat, running water


DALLAS - Three wheelchair-bound senior citizens have been living with no heat or running water in their Dallas home.

The family called News 8 after they didn't receive any answers after calling their Dallas council member, Senior Services and the city housing department.

The home in which they live in has buckled siding, a collapsed foundation, missing doors and uneven floors. The seniors have been wearing coats and using blankets to keep warm.

"I've never seen anything like this," said Floyd Goodjoint, the trio's nephew.

Goodjoint flew in from Washington with the hope to meet with Dallas city leaders. He wasn't expecting a freebie, but said he thought he could get some help with repairs.

"They say, 'Well, call this department, call that department,'" he said. "They go on and on and on and say, 'We have no funds; We have limited amount of this.'"

The best Dallas County Health and Human Services could do for 83-year-old Abe Washington, his 84-year-old wife and 74-year-old sister was to advise them to move, saying the agency doesn't rebuild homes and can only help turn on the heat. That's something Washington said he wishes they would do since he can't afford to move.

"I would thank them and get on my knees and pray and cry if they would," he said through tears.

News 8 also reached out to Senior Services and Washington's council member Pauline Madrano, who referred WFAA back to Code Compliance, the only agency that ever showed up to the house. It is also the only agency that fines homeowners for poor upkeep.

Late Thursday, Adult Protective Services stepped in and told News 8 it will decide if city housing and community services should provide assistance with home repairs.