Elderly woman in crumbling, overgrown Detroit house needs help

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FOX 2 is sending out the call for help tonight.

An elderly woman on Detroit's east side has a roof that's falling apart and her yard is overgrown. Hopefully, someone can lend the life-long Detroiter a helping hand.

Neighbors like Morris Hudson do what they can to help.

"She lives here by herself so I always come by and check on her looking out for everybody," he said.

But for 74-year-old Doris Billingsley, who lives in the house on Beniteau Street on the city's east side - sadly it is not enough.

"People think when you are old you are supposed to die it's not true," Doris said. "This house is a part of me."

Doris is struggling, she walks with a cane and suffers from several health issues which require her to take multiple medications.

She's on a fixed income and says between her prescriptions and rising healthcare costs, she can barely afford to eat, let alone fix her house that appears to be falling apart.

"I have to take all that medicine," she said. "It is just hard and I don't want to move out of my house. I have been living here so long."

Doris has learned to deal with the abandoned houses, illegal dumping and drug deals down her street.

But she can't afford to fix her roof that leaks in practically every corner, every time it rains. And no one has been able to help her maintain her backyard that looks more like a jungle.

Doris' backyard is so overgrown, she says criminals often run and hide from police in her bushes.

In a desperate move - Doris wrote a letter to FOX 2 hoping someone out there might be able to help.

Despite all of its troubles, the former nurse's aide doesn't want to move. It is the only home she's known for more than 40 years.

"This house can drown, I'm not going anywhere," she said. "When old people are established somewhere and they leave, it kills them."

If you would like to help, send an email to the FOX 2 newsdesk at fox2.newsdesk@foxtv.com