Around Thanksgiving time, I met a gentleman from the Democratic Republic of the Congo when his money was taken for services not provided. I invited him to Thanksgiving dinner. During the meal, we talked about his living situation and he told me that he had no supplies to clean his apartment. I volunteered to help him clean.

The Blake Street apartment was infested with cockroaches and silver fish and the ceiling in the bathroom was falling due to leakage from the apartment above. The owner owns many rundown apartments in Lewiston. We went to speak to the landlord and asked him to repair the leak from the above apartment. He said he would. The following week, there was no electricity, so we went to see the landlord again and he said he would get right on it. That never happened.

We contacted the code enforcement officer in Lewiston and he came to investigate. The landlord promised to get right on it but that never happened. The following week we contacted code enforcement again, and the officer said he would fine the landlord $400. The problem did not get corrected.

How does the landlord get around the requirements?

We went to apply for General Assistance. Well, that was a real eye opener. I thought the clerk was sarcastic, uncaring and blunt. People who have to go through her are suffering enough. Her attitude of “you are not worthy, you are not welcome in the United States, now go home,” was shameful.

Richard Thibodeau, Lewiston


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