Update: Oklahoma senior displaced right before Christmas

In Your Corner
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Update 2/9/17 - It was a happy homecoming for Evelyn Bowden.

After being displaced for more than a month the senior was finally able to come home.  

Remember the 80 year-old was forced out of her apartment right before Christmas after a pipe burst in her home.

She didn’t have renter’s insurance and was frustrated with her situation, so our team jumped into action.

Well the repairs are finally done.

“Oh gosh, I can't even explain,” she said. “I'm just so happy, so happy to be back in my own bed.”

While Evelyn was displaced Armstrong Relocation hauled off and kept her furniture safe in their warehouse.

Tuesday the crew moved her back in.

“I get to cook [again],” Evelyn said. “I get to prepare dinners.”

From heartbreak to happier times, Evelyn is out of her slump and taking things day by day.


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Update 1/4/17 - Our In Your Corner team has new details involving an unfortunate situation at the Mt. Olive Senior Cottages.

Eighty-year-old Evelyn Bowden had standing water in her apartment after a pipe in the ceiling burst.

Scott Hines reached out to Armstrong Relocation and asked them to help Evelyn move and store her large furniture.

Program manager Dow Foster said he had an instant connection to Evelyn.

“She just welcomed me,” he said. “I thought ‘Am I back at grandma's house?’ It made me feel really good.”

Evelyn could use the cheering up.

She said she didn't really get to have a Christmas.  

“I never had to go through nothing like this, and I never went without cooking on Christmas day,” Evelyn said. “I cook every Christmas.”

Evelyn said the clean-up didn't happen fast enough.

Mt. Olive Senior Cottages is an Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City property.

They tell the In Your Corner team they along with their management company were quick to respond, but Evelyn refused to give them access to her apartment to clean up the debris in the days following the damage.

Evelyn said she was just following the property manager's instructions.

“[He] told me that could nobody clean up until I got some of this stuff out of here. I didn't really turn them away.”

Urban League claims they offered to put Evelyn up overnight, but she opted to move out instead.

Evelyn tried requesting a moving voucher from section 8, but the waiting list is super long, so she wants to stay in her apartment after all.

While she figures out what to do next, Armstrong Relocation is making sure her stuff is properly cared for.

“[We will] give her the best treatment we can, house it in our facility and, when she needs it, we'll bring it right back out to her,” Dow said.

Evelyn knows a thing or two about devastation and finding the courage to stand up again.

“I lost two sons,” she said. “God brought me through it, [and] I know he's going to bring me through this."

The management company tells our team it was willing to let Evelyn out of her lease and return her deposit but, since she wants to stay put, they're working to get her back in her apartment as fast as they can.

Urban League said it has proudly assisted people and families for 70 years and will continue to help those in need.


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OKLAHOMA CITY - Emotions were running high at Mt. Olive Senior Cottages Tuesday.

Several units flooded there, and neighbors said they are frustrated with property management.

Eighty-year-old Evelyn Bowden's unit suffered some of the worst damage.

“When I talk about it, I want to cry, because I'm losing everything,” she said. “I can't afford to replace my furniture.”

The sprinkler pipe in her guest bedroom busted.

Bowden called section 8, but all they can do is offer her a moving voucher.

She said property management won't put her up anywhere, it's been 24 hours and nothing in her apartment has been touched.

“I feel ignored, because he told me to get it out, and we'd get it cleaned up but you got to get the furniture out,” Bowden said. “Well, I live off a social security check and, after I pay my bills and get me a little food to eat, I don't have money.”

The company that manages the property, Seldin Company, tells the In Your Corner team they apologize for the inconvenience and immediately called the Red Cross and the Fire Marshall and began repair work to several of the damaged units.

They go on to say they will not cover any incidentals and urge all of their tenants to take out a renter's insurance policy, which Bowden did not do.

Most rental policies are pretty cheap and worth the investment.

“I try to stay strong, because I'm close to God,” Bowden said. “He takes me through it. He'll get me through it. I just hate feeling like I'm ignored.”

Bowden is staying with her sister right now, and we can tell you, after we left her apartment, a clean-up crew and contractors showed up to get to work. 

We're also working to get her some additional help with moving and storing her furniture.

We’ll check back.

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