Volunteers help Shreveport woman who’s had no water since February ice storms
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The Shreveport Volunteer Network is helping a Mooretown resident who says she has been without water since the February ice storm.
Betty B. Ellis was born and raised in Shreveport; she turns 75 at the end of this month. She’s lived in the same house off Broadway Ave. for over 20 years. After falling on hard times her house is in disrepair. With no money to fix it, Ellis has been sleeping in her car.
“My house is just deteriorating,” Ellis said. “The electricity needs to be done, the roof is leaking, what the roof didn’t mess up the rats did. Ever since February I haven’t had any water in my house. Everywhere they were giving out water I went and got some. One of my classmates got me a two-burner hot plate, I’ve been warming my water on the hot plate and taking sponge baths since February.”
Ellis has been keeping a cooler in the trunk of her car; she buys ice daily to place in the cooler to let is melt. She takes the melted ice to place in a bucket or jug on her front porch to use.
“I come in here, heat some water, take a bath, go to work,” Ellis said. “I wash for a woman who is 80 years old. She gives me $10 an hour. That’s $30 right there. I clean another lady’s stuff. I clean everyone else’s stuff while my stuff is like this. I’ve just been trying to make it.”
The Shreveport Volunteer Network was contacted. Keith Bryant, the co-founder of SVN, was out at Ellis’ house Wednesday restoring her water.
“One of our viewers had met this lady and realized she needed help,” Bryant said. “She reached out to us and we came and saw the situation. It’s a desperate situation. She’s got a whole lot of needs and we are going to meet as many of those needs as we can.”
Bryant also plans on installing an air conditioning unit that was donated. He implores others to check on their neighbors, especially as the temperature goes up this summer.
“Whether it’s hot or cold I feel like a lot of us are just leaving our houses, getting in the car and going,” Bryant said. “It’s gotten to the point where we don’t even wave at each other anymore. We need to check on our neighbors. It’s important for us to get out and check on others. Whatever we need to do; this woman has so many needs. We never know what someone is going through, so we have to check up on each other and help one another out.”
On Saturday, June 19, Bryant says a lot of work still has to be done, but that there has also been much progress.
“Now we need a roofer. That’s our number one priority right now. We need a plumber too. From what we found today, we tried to patch a few jobs today, but we discovered the whole underneath of the house needs to be replumbed,” he said.
For now, Ellis has been put up in a hotel for the time being. She says she is thankful to everyone who has reached out and helped her and that she feels blessed knowing the community cares.
To learn more about the Shreveport Volunteer Network, click here.
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