DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s summertime in Texas and that means daytime temperatures will routinely flirt with the triple digits, but for an immigrant family in Dallas, the heatwave is happening indoors.
“Outside is better,” says Asina Shabani, “Sometimes outside is better than inside.”
The mother of a 7-year-old, 4-year-old and 5-month-old, also cares for her younger sister. She says they’ve lost count of how long they’ve complained to the East Town Apartments management.
“I already go to the office many times,” says Shabani. “I call that number many many times. Still, nobody’s coming.”
Lowering the thermostat has no impact. It continued to read a toasty 85 degrees.
“It’s more than warm,” says Leonid Regheta, with Project Start. “It’s hot. It’s really hot.”
The organization helps immigrant families struggling to build new lives, amid challenging conditions. Just a few minutes in the apartment and Regheta’s shirt is already soaked with perspiration.
“It’s not okay,” says a frustrated Regheta. “I was here yesterday when all of that trash was out there. I was appalled. Just horrendous conditions.”
The trash had overflowed the dumpsters at the East Town Apartments and was piled up behind them and spread out beyond in all directions. Some of the trash had been picked up, today.
But other problems remain, including the family’s damaged front door that had to be lifted in order for it to close.
“When I inquired about the state of affairs, I was told ‘you are not a resident here, it is none of your concern’,” shares Regheta.
So CBS 11 tried.
A woman who claimed to be with apartment management said that someone would be made available to speak with us.
Instead, she went into the leasing office. Moments later, the blinds were lowered and the door was locked.
Calls to the corporate office were forwarded back to the local management, and those calls were not returned.
“Sometimes, it’s like, because we don’t speak English. ‘Oh, they’re refugees, they won’t do nothing’,” says Shabani’s younger sister, Suzanna. “They don’t know their rights.”