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90-year-old woman surrounded by blight calls for help, Local 4 responds

DETROIT – Today, I have been thinking about a 90 year old woman in Detroit who I did a report on 10 days ago.

She is surrounded by blight, has to sleep right behind her front door because she’s worried that the scrappers next door will try to burglarize her.

“I had to come with my blanket and sleep right there so if they try to get in there, I can walk out the door,” said Brown, “If they see the light on, they know I’m up. They come as soon as I turn that light off. How come they won’t work?”

She is in a tough spot.

As the city celebrates its 10,000 vacant home demolition, Ruth Brown is left behind.

“I hope they get them down before I die, so I don’t have to look at them,” said Brown, reflecting on the dangerous eye sores surrounding her home.

“I’m hanging on.”

She is not in the approved “hardest hit” zone, where the city uses federal tax dollars to pay for the demos. When Ruth calls the city, she is usually told, "They will eventually get to it."

Ruth calls every single day asking me if the homes next to her will be torn down.  We simply have no answer for her, other than “no.”

Demo contractors aren’t going to do the work for free, unless one wants to step up and offer to tear down four homes that are destroying her sense of security.

She is truly caught in the middle.

Motor City Blight Busters boarded up a trashed home next to her, but so much more needs to be done.

Today, we visit again with Ruth Brown, checking on this 90 year old life-long Detroiter who needs help.


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