Troubleshooters: Helping two women in Alice

Troubleshooters: Ingleside Job
Posted at 3:36 PM, Mar 01, 2022

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A woman contacted the Troubleshooters about her sister and another woman living in unsafe and unsanitary conditions in Alice.

She asked if the Troubleshooters could help them. Maybe, get them moved out and into better conditions. Turns out the two women are moving out and into better living conditions.

Marivel Robles and Zelda Salas said they moved into the garage apartments on North Wright in Alice a couple of years ago.

It’s owned by Jose and Manuela Flores. Robles and Salas have disabilities.

The inside and outside of Salas’ place needs repairs, badly:

  • Loose wires hanging.
  • Sewage leaking.
  • Roaches.
  • She and her son just make-do with what they can.

Salas told the Troubleshooters she didn’t have hot water for about a year. So, she and her son - who lives with her - had to improvise."He would have to heat up water so I could take a shower. And we had to put a tub inside the bathroom so I could take my shower," she told the Troubleshooters.

Robles told the Troubleshooters she was without electricity since November. She sent us pictures showing what the inside of her place looks like.

The house at the front of the property appeared to be in slightly better shape.

It was Robles’ sister Rosemary Smith, who first contacted the Troubleshooters in early February, asking us to help both women at least find better living conditions.

She had already contacted several agencies including MHMR, the Purple Door and the City of Alice.

A day later, the Troubleshooters contacted Jim Wells County Attorney Michael Guerra, County Clerk Odie Rodriguez and Alice Fire Chief Patrick Thomas about the conditions Robles and Salas were living in.

All said they would help in some way. We also contacted the owners.

Robles, who declined our request for an on-camera interview, told the Troubleshooters inspectors had been at the property.

Over the last few weeks, Salas and Robles had virtual court hearings with Jim Wells County Precinct One Justice of the Peace Richard De Leon.

And after hearing from both sides, De Leon gave both women a date to be out of their apartments and into new ones.

Rosemary Smith said Salas has moved in with family. Robles, a mother of four, will need emergency temporary housing.

At least they’re out of this place.

We also spoke with Manuela Flores, the property owner, who does not live in Alice.

She told us she's owned the property for 20 years, and is aware it needs significant repairs.

In fact, she claims she's already paid a contractor $14,000 to work on the two apartments in the front of the property.

She also admits she filed eviction paperwork for Robles and Salas because of overdue rent.

Now, she's glad Robles and Salas are moving out, and into better accommodations.

And once they're out, she said she'll lock the place up until she can hire someone willing to make the necessary repairs.

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