Stuck, trapped and afraid: Disabled woman says broken elevators chronic problem at apartment complex

Posted at 9:33 PM, Jul 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-14 00:23:27-04

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DENVER -- Stuck, trapped and afraid. That's how one woman with disabilities feels in her apartment building, so she reached out to Contact7. She said elevators haven't worked properly in months and nothing is being done.

Sharon Wheeler, 64, is on a fixed income, living in subsidized housing at the Golden Spike Apartments in Southwest Denver.

"I worked three jobs to support my kids," said Wheeler. “I worked as an a machinist. I've done office work at H&R block. I've done it all."

She has struggled with her health for many years suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), arthritis, asthma and several other illnesses which forced her to use an electric chair, like many people living on one of the 12 floors in the apartment building. In her apartment, her bedroom is too small so she lives in the living room and she has to scrape the walls to squeeze through the doorway to use her restroom.

"I worked most of my life. I worked hard and then you end up here. There's nothing out there for you that you can afford for people like me," said Wheeler.

That’s not all. She spends many hours literally trapped in her room because both elevators in the building constantly break.

"It was three times just yesterday," said Wheeler.

She worries about an emergency.

"Something bad one of these days is gonna happen. If there is a fire there's a lot of people and they're not gonna be able to get people like me down a stairwell," said Wheeler.

We tried calling Archdiocesan Housing, the owner of the property and Catholic Charities, but our calls were not immediately returned.

"They just keep saying they're going to do, they're going to do... but nothing seems to happen,” said Wheeler.

She hopes someone hears her and fixes things before it’s too late.