Home for woman in wheelchair condemned


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The house a disabled woman was placed in has had problems since she moved in — and Tuesday, it was condemned.

Lakesha Foster moved into a house on Toren Street SE in Grand Rapids in January. She uses a wheelchair, but the house isn’t set up for her to get around. It doesn’t have ramps for steps on the first floor, and she can’t get to the second floor at all.

The bathroom sink is coming off the wall. So is the bathtub.

Lakesha Foster's Toren Street SE house has had problems since she moved in. (July 1, 2014)“I have fallen two days in a row,” she said.

There’s a hole in the ceiling that leaks whenever it rains.

She said the problems aren’t new — they were there when she moved in.

“I did what they told me to do, but guess what? I’m still here,” she said.

She reached out to the city to see if it could put pressure on the landlord. The problems were documented, but the city told 24 Hour News 8 Tuesday it couldn’t get a hold of anyone to make improvements.

So Tuesday, the house was condemned.

Lakesha Foster's Toren Street SE house has had problems since she moved in. (July 1, 2014)Local outreach group Recovery Academy has been trying to help Foster find a new place for about five months with no luck. In 10 days, she will be homeless.

Foster’s lease shows Gerontology  Network, which is under the umbrella of Network180, pays for her rent.

Sharon Hall, a peer support specialist at Recovery Academy, says  the case worker who placed Foster at the Toren Street house is no longer employed with the network. Hall tried to go directly to Network180′s executive director, but couldn’t get reach him.

“No one has been able to help,” Hall told 24 Hour News 8. “I reached out to you because she needed help.”

When 24 Hour News 8 called the executive director Tuesday, he called back within minutes. He said he was on vacation, but will work with Foster and try to find her a new house.

When asked why Foster was placed at the Toren Street house in the first place, he said he was unable to answer because of confidentiality agreements.

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