Volunteers are trying to help a 71-year-old Northwest Oklahoma City widower who’s been living in mind-numbing filthy living conditions.
The man lives in an otherwise nice-looking home near NW 36th St. and N. Meridian Ave. He says he’s lived there for nearly 20 years, since his parents and his wife passed away.
Inside the house is a completely different story. Before you even walk in, the stench of human waste just about knocks you over.
Jeremy Nichols works for a telephone service provider and made a service call to the home last Tuesday. He says he couldn’t overlook the incredibly disgusting conditions the man, who is also legally blind, has been living in.
Nichols told his sister Karena, who is a former employee of DHS, about the situation. She used her cellphone to shoot video inside the home last Saturday. That video shows a very cluttered house, with toilets that don’t work. It also shows pitchers on the floor of the home, containers the Nichols say that are holding human waste. There also appears to be human waste smeared on the floor and on the furniture of the home as well.
Oklahoma City Police have made welfare calls to the home dating back to last year, that we know of. The officer who made a welfare check last September described in her report, “the physical living conditions were atrocious…the smell alone was unbearable.”
That officer also documented that she was attacked by what she thought were bed bugs during the short time she was at the home.
“After leaving the residence, I noticed I had bug bites up and down my arms,” the report said.
DHS Spokesperson Debra Martin told News 9 earlier this week, “We do have a lengthy history with him, and he retains the mental capacity to make his own decisions. And that includes declining services, that includes self-neglecting,” she said.
On Friday, News 9 went to the home to meet with Nichols, his sister Karena, and members of Edmond’s Phoenix Restorations, who Saturday are going to attempt to clean the house. This past Monday, the Oklahoma City-County Health Department placarded the man’s front door with an official notice. He has until next Wednesday to get his house cleaned.
News 9 talked to the man outside his front door Friday afternoon about his situation. Even standing several feet outside the front door, the smell coming from the house was disgusting.
“Well I feel fine, I don’t look bad I guess,” he said.
“How have you been able to live like this?” News 9’s Steve Shaw asked.
“I guess I’m strong sir, I guess I’m strong,” he said.
Oklahoma City put News 9 in touch with the Director of Oklahoma City’s Homeless Alliance Wednesday. That organization’s executive director tells us they are going to work with partners to try to help the situation.
Any community volunteers who would like to join Phoenix Restorations in working at the home Saturday are being asked to meet at the McDonalds at NW 39th St. and N. Portland Ave. at 9 a.m.