HOUSTON -- Pastor Ruth Ollison gave KHOU 11 News a walking tour of a Third Ward apartment in ruins.
“This is my place,” said Ollison. “Look at my windows.”
Ollison shot home video of the damage during a surprise visit to the property she rents two months after the tenant abruptly stopped paying rent asking for more time. Pastor Ollison agreed to that but then she noticed things seemed out of place.
“The air conditioner was gone and that’s a sign to me," said Ollison. "And then the door was open. So I opened the door.”
Inside, she found mountains of clothes and garbage on the floor, holes in the walls and the windows busted out. Both the refrigerator and stove appeared to have been stolen.
“I was horrified and angry,” said Ollison.
Ollison was also heartbroken because she’s spent years trying to help lift people in the deprived community out of poverty.
Over her more than two decades of leasing to tenants in the predominantly low-income area, Ollison has experienced her share of upsets.
But she said what she saw at the trashed apartment was far worse than anything she could have ever imagined.
“Just move. No problem," said Ollison. "Owe me a thousand dollars. No problem. Turn my place into this, now we have a problem.”
It’s a problem she hopes police can help resolve.
“I’m going to continue to do what I do," said Ollison. "And I’m going to do it to the best of my ability. But I’m not going to continue to take this lying down.”