With only a few weeks left to be out, Prospect Community residents in Johnstown have begun packing up and moving, but for some residents who might have disabilities not all relocation options are ideal.
We spoke with a disabled resident who says the relocation options she and her husband were given strip her from her independence.
“I’m not happy,”
Kassandra and her husband William Stickle have resided within the Prospect Community for the past 18 years and like many other Prospect Community residents do not want to relocate.
“We would have been able to be more than willing to move out of here and have an accessible place in our new place,”
However, the Stickle’s say on March 31st the Johnstown Housing Authority is moving them into an apartment on the eighth floor of Connor Towers which they say is a lot less accessible for Kassandra who says she has been in a wheelchair since she was three years old due to Spina Bifida.
“They’re having us move into a place that she’s not going to be able to depend, she’s not going to be independent anymore, She’s going to depend on me and aids and anybody who’s willing to help.”
“I cannot get into the kitchen, can’t get anything from the fridge. I can’t do dishes because I can’t reach the sinks. I can’t get into the bathroom, so I can’t like, use the bathroom. I can’t brush my teeth in there, I can’t reach that sink either.”
“And unfortunately their hands are full, you know, their hands are tied,” said William. “They can’t provide us with the adequate housing for physically challenged, for the people who cannot physically get up and walk out of that chair and go to the bathroom or go to the kitchen.”
William says he has even looked for a place on his own, but has had no luck finding a place similar to what they currently have minus some structural issues. One being black mold growing in the bathroom.
“They keep on saying its condensation from the shower, but they’ve also painted over it numerous times just to make it look better,”
But still the Stickle’s say they believe their home in the Prospect Community is safe overall.
“This apartment is not going to be a good fit because I can’t do anything on my own, I would rather stay here; I can function here.”
The couple says if they get the chance to move back into their unit in the Prospect Community, regardless of any structural issues, they will.