Four west side families start the New Year homeless - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Four west side families start the New Year homeless

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The tree is up, but Jessica Colon and her 16-month-old son, Christopher, won't have much of a Christmas this year. They are being forced out of their Colgate Avenue home along with three other families because the houses they are living in are unsafe.  A building inspector found that the multiple family homes they live in are unsafe and unfit for humans to live in.

19 Action News reporter Denise Zarrella asks, "Christmas day you'll be moving your stuff?"

"Yeah, pretty much," says Jessica Colon.

The floor in the kitchen of Jessica's apartment is visibly caving inward.  

"I'm scared all the time. I have to watch him everywhere he goes. If he goes in here, I have to come in here. If he goes in there, I have to go in there," adds Colon.

Lisa Sutton lives in the house in the house behind Jessica's. She too was told she had to be out by the day after Christmas, but the city's building inspector is now saying they will have until just after the first of the year to move.   

"We have to duct tape all of our windows because it's so cold," says Sutton.

Sutton hasn't had a working furnace in over a year.  The ceiling collapsed in her bathroom where there's no hot water either.  Electricity - that's spotty too.

"It's hard.  We've got plenty of blankets.  It's not that bad, but you have to go out in the dead of winter just to take a shower," explains Sutton.

Their landlord is right now facing charges because of the condition of his properties, but his tenants here say that doesn't change the fact that they have nowhere to go.

"It's hard.  Landlords want everything up front and deposit," adds Sutton.

Jessica plans to live in a car with her young son. She says she's too afraid to take him to a shelter.

"I'm scared because it's my son. We are going to be sleeping in a car.  That's all I'm worried about.  That's the main thing.  It's not good at all."

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