Seniors stranded in Detroit apartment building after elevator goes unrepaired for weeks

Resident purchased Life Alert because she feared for her health

DETROIT – Seniors stranded in an apartment building with a single elevator that hasn’t worked in weeks reached out to Help Me Hank.

Some have resorted to buying Life Alert devices because they’re concerned about the physical toll walking the stairs is taking on their health.

Cynthia Gardner struggles to get up the stairs. She said the elevator in her apartment building on West Boston Boulevard in Detroit has been out for almost a month. It’s the only elevator in the building.

She has invested in a Life Alert device because she is worried about her health. She said the strain from walking the stairs is taking a toll.

“My heart is beating all out of control and I already got asthma. It’s just a problem,” Gardner said.

Local 4 reached out to the onsite building manager, but did not get an answer. Local 4′s Hank Winchester then went to the 1st City LLC, which manages the building. Nobody in the office would talk and he was told the boss was on a plane.

Hank Winchester got the City of Detroit involved. An inspector is now investigation and putting pressure on the management company to solve the issue.

“In this instance, we’ve got a promise of it being taken care of before the week is out. They should receive the necessary equipment to do the repair and by the week’s end if it’s not done. We’re going to issue tickets. Hundreds of dollars ,” Glenn Davis with the City of Detroit Building Safety department said.

As of March 31, 2022 the elevator has been fixed. Hank Winchester’s report is available below:

The situation was so bad that one of the tenants in the apartment complex got a life alert necklace if something terrible happened climbing the steps. But after Help Me Hank got involved, the broken elevator in the building got fixed.

Have a news tip? To reach Help Me Hank, call 313-634-WDIV (313-634-9348) or email at

About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4’s Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV’s “Help Me Hank” Consumer Unit. Hank works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off people in our community.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.