Checking In on the Disabled After Hurricane Ike

The managing attorney for Advocacy Inc., a group that represents the rights of the disabled, went over to the Villas on Winkler this afternoon to check on the disabled residents there.

Attorney Sarah Guidry was escorted out by security guards as soon as she mentioned she’d like to talk to any of the people living there who are disabled. She’d been prompted to go to the southeast Houston complex after reading a report in today’s Houston Chronicle by Lisa Gray that said Villas residents were left in the care of a skeleton maintenance crew and no one else during Hurricane Ike.

Guidry said she was trying to check out reports that some of the most disabled and elderly were on the upper floors. She was afraid that they would be in danger over the weekend without additional help. The private apartment complex gets to make its own rules, and Guidry says she doesn’t have any right to insist upon staying.

She would like to know where the complex falls on the priority list of getting power restored.

“I’m not making any allegations here but from looking around this appears to be a minority neighborhood with a minority population,” Guidry said. “It brings to mind some stories we heard about New Orleans.”

-- Margaret Downing

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