Fort Worth Woman Gets Water Turned Back On After 6 Years Without

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Fort Worth Code Enforcement Officer Dennis Mitchell was doing a routine code check of an east Fort Worth neighborhood. Often, he’s writing tickets for theft of service or searching for problem areas. But he ran across something different at Fannie Wilson’s home: she had no water service — and she had been without running water for a long time.

“I paid three expensive water bills,” Wilson said. “So I went out to the meter and cut it off myself. I had a leak! I couldn’t afford to pay the water bill and where I had the leak I couldn’t afford to get it repaired.”

The 69-year old had fallen ill, too. She’s a little shy about saying how long she was without water.  “It was gone a good little while,” Wilson said.

Actually, city records show her water service ended six years ago. She spent her days at a neighborhood center. She’d occasionally bathe at her daughters house. In her home she had jugs of water she’d gathered from other places.

“In the old days we went to the outhouse,” Wilson said. “So….”

The situation got worse for Wilson. She was now facing eviction from her own home.  “Under current ordinances, you’re not allowed to live in a residence without active water service.,” Mitchell said.

“I need a place to stay, you know?” Wilson said. “By the grace of God, I’m just doing the best I can.”

Code Enforcement Officer Mitchell couldn’t walk away and let the worst happen.  “This is going to be tough,” Mitchell said as he recounted what was going through his mind when he discovered Wilson’s situation. “But its one morally we have to try and address and that’s the avenue we took. I think its the right choice.”

Mitchell found a community services group to step in. They helped pay to get the water connection restored.

Wilson still has issues with her pipes and worries about the bills. But she still has a home.  “Its an ongoing issue,” Mitchell said. “But, we’re just trying to take it one step at a time and get her some help.”

With little means, the only way Wilson could say thank you was with a little flower plucked from her front yard.  “Because he’s a good man!” Wilson said emphatically of Mitchell.

“What we just try to do is just, you know, work what resources we have available to us,” Mitchell said. “It feels great.”

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One Comment

  1. YRofTexas says:

    Habitat for Humanity…here is a good home to fix up! This kind lady needs our help, and she is the perfect candidate for a sturdy, clean home to spend the rest of her days enjoying!

    She’s a nice lady…help her!

    1. RSofCA says:

      Hear, hear!!!

  2. Ivan says:

    THIS is the kind of thing the Catholic church should be worried about, not taking away the rights of other people.

    1. Steve says:

      I’ve been a Catholic all my life and that’s not how we do it in our faith. Go to a church and ask for help and they’ll tell you “We’ll pray for you my son.” My brother on the other hand is a Baptist and when people have money woes there they pass the plate and take up a collection. I’ve heard of people getting food donations, money to pay bills, even free homes or cars. Granted they weren’t great homes or cars but they were free. We Catholics pray my boy….we pray for answers. If the old lady wants water she’ll have to join another church. Sorry!

  3. BoogerFree says:

    Too many good people have simple problems like this which every American should have ashamed of.

  4. Javik says:

    Wait, wait, you MUST HAVE water service? Why? Sounds like just another way for the city to force more expenses onto low-income homeowners that have paid off their house..

    1. Davison says:

      No, it’s a sanitation issue, not some right/left wing conspiracy from alien dentist slum lords. There needs to be a water supply to keep the waste treatment lines working properly – otherwise you get large vermin infestations and disease outbreaks. Then you have to deal with PETA telling you rats deserve the same protection as babies and other people saying quarantines are violations of human rights, which is a whole other kettle of fish. Low-income people need water the same as everyone else – a service being provided thru property taxes. When you make it an option, you are giving up your right to it and giving someone else the right to charge you for it (again).

      1. Javik says:

        If the sewer lines are not being used, then you put Recreational Vehicle antifreeze in all the drain traps so the lines stay sealed shut.

      2. bumpkin says:

        But WAIT! Now that we can freely murder babies, can we finally murder rats? Or do they actually have MORE rights than babies do???

  5. MJ says:

    If there is a place to send money to help pay for her repairs I am willing to send some to help her.

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