Calumet City senior citizens left stranded by elevator issues at apartment

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Senior citizens at Garden House of River Oaks in Calumet City have been forced to use stairs due to multiple recent elevator outages. (WLS)

A group of 20 senior citizens in Calumet City said Monday that they've been left stranded without access to their apartments for hours at a time due to recent elevator outages.

Multiple residents at Garden House of River Oaks, a 145-unit, 10-story apartment building in the south suburbs reached out to ABC7 with their complaints.

"It makes me feel like I'm in prison," said 81-year-old resident Bobbie Henry.

Henry said she had to hobble backwards up nine flights of stairs when both elevators went out earlier this month. She said she waited in the lobby for hours but was forced to climb the stairs because she needed to take her medicine.

Resident Mildred Davis said the same thing happened to her a week later.

"I had to sit downstairs from 9:30 to about 11:30 in order for me to get upstairs because I live on the 7th floor and I can't walk," Davis said.

Residents who use walkers, wheelchairs and scooters said they were hardest hit.

"I can't do nothing. I can't pick this up and take it upstairs," said resident Jimmy Hardy, who uses a motorized scooter.

A representative for Evergreen Real Estate Group, which manages the building, said Elevator 1 has been out of service since the beginning of June. They are waiting for a part to be delivered and do not have a timeline for when the elevator will be back in operation. Elevator 2 is currently operational.

The company confirmed two instances in the last two weeks in which both elevators have been out of service for several hours. On June 18, it was out of service for 15 hours. On June 27, it was out of service for nearly 3 hours.

Residents who live at the apartment said they also experienced outages over the weekend.

"When you go in the elevator, take your phone and your water because you never know when you're gonna get stuck," resident Jea'nne Barnes said.

Ida Johnson and other residents said they are constantly worried that the second elevator will break. She's asking for the aging elevators to be replaced altogether.

"I want to see changes here. There are a lot of changes that need to be made but elevators have got to be No. 1," Johnson said.

Evergreen Real Estate Group said there are no current plans to replace the elevators. A representative said they have extended apologies to the residents and are working with them to find a solution. Evergreen Real Estate Group declined a request for an on-camera interview.

The elevators were last inspected on February 9, 2018. A State Fire Marshal Elevator Safety Certificate posted inside Elevator 2 is valid through April 2019.
Related Topics:
healthsenior citizensheatelevatorCalumet City
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