M.J. Brodie

Elderly and disabled residents in J. Van Story Branch public housing live among bed-bugs and fight for basic repairs

Elderly and disabled residents in J. Van Story Branch public housing live among bed-bugs and fight for basic repairs

Michelle Owens, 72, sits in a wheelchair outside her apartment in the J. Van Story Branch Senior Apartments enjoying the fresh air. She rarely goes outside these days because it is so dangerous, she says, but her son is visiting for the day from Philadelphia so she feels safe. He listens; she vents.

"It's terrible in here, honey," she says, nodding at the public housing high-rise behind her. She never intended to stay. "[I've lived here] seven years too long." Sweat trickles down her cheek on this muggy July day. "They sell drugs in here. They kill people in here. They stab people in here. They rape people in here. They try your doorknob...

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