After an agonizing two months, Mrs. Betty Castillo and her husband finally feel at home again. It has taken two months to get an elevator repaired, that had previously had them, along with their other neighbors, feeling like “ prisoners in their own home, “ that is, until Mrs. Castillo called the offices of State Representative Jarvis Johnson of District 139. After hearing Mrs. Castillo’s story of how the senior living facility that she was living in had not repaired their elevator, even after several calls and broken promises- still, nothing. Mrs. Castillo was desperate to get something done quickly, as her husband , who she cares for , due to many health issues, needed to make extremely critical medical appointments and had no way of going to the first level, due to not being able to take the stairs and a broken elevator.

“ It is unacceptable to even have to have someone, especially one of our senior citizens, have to call to report something so simple. But what is even more unacceptable is the extreme negligence of the facility management and the owners to rectify this simple issue with an even simpler solution- fix the elevator! “ explains, Representative Johnson. “ How do you justify tenants not having the ability to go downstairs … what if there was a fire, a medical emergency, or that they just simply needed to go to a grocery store? Isn’t having an elevator one of the main selling points for complexes aimed at providing a specific level of care for seniors and the physically disabled? How do you allow your level of care and your commitment to these specific group, as a business, to go so below the bar, where your tenants are made to feel like literal ‘ prisoners in their own homes’ ? What is the excuse or justification for that? There is none!” exclaims, Representative Johnson.

According to the Castillos, the only other option that they had was to call, the Fire Department, who would then take her husband down the stairs in a stretcher , but with that would also come a $150 , each time, and also the dilemma of finding a way to get Mr. Castillo back home. There was also an option to move to the bottom level, but then that would bring yet another burden, easy access to crime and feeling unsafe.

“ The bottom line is that, no one  especially a business, should be able to get away with treating people this way and handling business with such little dignity. I, personally went to the Castillo home and replaced alarm batteries, checked vents, etc. I did all of these seemingly simple tasks, that quickly become complex things that we take for granted, when you have no means of functioning and moving around. An elevator, to a senior citizen, or to someone who is physically disabled, is no longer a luxury amenity, it is a necessity. No one, especially a senior citizen or someone who is physically challenged, should have their health or person suffer or have their livelihood compromised  due to unethical business practices , “says Representative Johnson. It’s unconscionable and it will not be tolerated.

And just as he quoted, it was not. On March 21, 2018, Representative Johnson received the call that the elevator at The Primrose  Casa Bella , ( 5105 Airline Dr. Houston, TX 77002) was repaired. As even more of confirmation , due to a number or previous calls and broken promises from the facility management, Representative Johnson also had a member of his team to confirm the repair directly.

“ This was a victory… but it’s just one and there are, unfortunately, far too many cases that go unnoticed, which is why, during this next session, I will be introducing legislation that will prohibit and give accountability and consequence to those business owners, companies, organizations, etc. who display this same type of gross negligence,” explained Representative Johnson. “As for the Castillos, they are heroes, in my eyes. They overlooked their own personal issues and fought for the benefit of themselves, as well as their neighbors. They led by example and they have now passed the baton to me and I will not let them down.”

For Interviews and Video Requests ( Video footage is available) with State Representative Johnson and/ or The Castillos, please contact Nichelle Rhodes at bmbpublicity.com or 832-412-7994.
English Spanish