CHARLES CITY, VA (WWBT) - An elderly Charles City County couple is in desperate need of a new home because the one they're living in is deplorable. The trailer they currently call home is propped up on bricks and cinder blocks. It's a shell of a home that's unsafe and on the verge of falling down on top of them.
This is one the most difficult calls for help 12 On Your Side has gotten so far this year because their need is so massive. Right now, the bathroom
plumbing is busted, and that means everything that was flushed just pours out under their trailer.
Their decades old trailer is filled with memories, but from all appearances, it's structurally unsound and potentially dangerous from the inside out. The trailer's elderly occupants fill containers of water and pour it in the commode to get the toilet to flush. 73-year-old Gilbert Adkins says, "Sometimes you pour a little more in there. She'll go down." They say they're not sure how long the problem has been going on, but it's been a while.
"When I pour the water in it, it goes on the ground. I can smell it," 82-year-old Elnora Sargeant says. "I don't know what to do without no money." A service facilitator working for a private company reached out to me asking for help for Elnora and Gilbert. It seems there are no programs to help people struggling like them. They get Meals on Wheels, and they have a social worker. However, when it comes to home repairs and, in this case a new home, they're on their own and it shows. Plastic blankets parts of the ceiling to keep out the rain, but there are signs that the roof is bad. In the kitchen, pots line the top of the cabinets to catch dripping water. To the left of the pots, there is a hole in the ceiling that takes you outdoors. "I want you to help me. If you can't fix that. Fix up underneath the house," she says.
Elnora has rheumatoid arthritis, schizophrenia, and hypertension. Neither one gets around well, but so far, they've managed to maneuver around the soft spots in the floor. Some are covered with plywood.
They say their family is in the same shape as they are. However, a new trailer is what they need. "Well, I don't get but $475.00 a month," Elnora says. "That's all I get to take care of this house with. It'll make me feel happy. I'm able to get things done if I had a home. This home here is old."
I've already reached out to one manufacturer, and I'm hoping to hear something positive soon. In the meantime, help us spread the word. If you know of a company that manufactures or sells trailers and may be willing to help Elnora and Gilbert get a new home, call 345-1212 and talk with one of our Call 12 volunteers.
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