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Trapped in his apartment, disabled veteran given a way out

Disabled Veteran Steven New gets help out of Nueces Lofts
Posted at 4:49 PM, Jul 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-20 17:49:22-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Monday, Steven New detailed his difficult past few weeks. He resides in the Nueces Lofts Apartment building on the eighth floor.

The problem for him is the elevators in the building have been out of service for over a month, and New, a veteran, is in a wheelchair.

After his story aired, he got word on Tuesday that building management would accommodate him and pay for a hotel room for him. They told him they would pay for one whole week and $64 a day.

“This is what I asked for five weeks ago when the elevator went down. I don’t know what took so long,” New said.

For weeks, New has been trapped in his apartment with no way to the ground floor. He's been using a bag tied to a rope and lowering it out his window to get necessities like groceries up to his apartment.

“I’ve been allowed to leave five times, twice for emergency medical help. It’s been a long and trying time,” New said.

In fact, Nueces Lofts answered a few of New's requests by manually bringing him up and down the elevator shaft during those five trips. New said they eventually stopped answering his requests.

After New learned of his temporary home at a nearby hotel, the Corpus Christi Fire Department was contacted to help him get down from the eighth floor. A team of nearly a dozen firefighters helped carry New down the fire escape of the building on Wednesday.

“It was a bumpy ride, but man, these guys are tough. My hats off to them, every one of them. Just a bunch of fantastic people, in my opinion,” he said.

Still, New feels a little guilty. His neighbors still have to deal with the broken elevators.

"Honestly, I think about the people I'm leaving behind," he said.

As KRIS 6 News reported on Monday, an inspection back in March found at least one of the two elevators had 12 violations. New added there were problems with the elevators before that March inspection.

New said the inconvenience has led to stress for many of the Nueces Lofts residents.

“My next-door neighbor fell on the stairs one evening. And, after three days, she developed such a bad infection that she had to seek medical attention in the middle of the night,” New said.

Management for the apartment building declined to comment and even asked KRIS 6 News to leave the property when they saw our camera equipment.

New was notified on Tuesday that repairs on the elevators should be ready for inspection next Monday and could take two days. But he is still skeptical they will be operational after that inspection.