Bedbugs Made Me Flee My Apartment and Become Homeless

by Bobbette Robinson

When I was homeless I stayed at a shelter, with my niece, and my sister. I lost my apartment because I had a landlord who would not fix the place. There were bedbugs in the building and the landlord would not do anything about it. I moved from one apartment to another and that is when I realized there were bedbugs in the new apartment I had just moved into. I lost everything. I could not take any of my belongings with me due to the infestation of bedbugs.

When I complained, my landlord gave me a half-filled bottle of some kind of spray.  I sprayed my unit and nothing happened. He did not have the proper supplies.  My landlord gave me no notice and told me I had to leave that day. I ended up leaving my apartment and going to live in a shelter. I lost everything I owned.

I was hurt because I could not receive my deposit back.  I did not have any money to take him to court so I had to leave and leave everything I owned behind.  I went to stay at the women’s shelter and was there about two months. At first, I had to sleep on the floor for about a month. I was transferred into a small room; it was nice. I was in a room with clean people and there were no bedbugs. I had help from friends and family. I ended up moving in with my sister and then with my niece. My son helped me with a deposit and I saved enough through disability and selling the Street Chronicle newspaper to pay for my first month’s rent.

I moved into my new apartment and it was nice. I had to sleep on the floor for a while and I had to save money to buy a refrigerator, stove, and some furniture. However, I am doing well now.

One thing I learned is to ask questions and take a good look at a place before you move into it.  There is a problem with bedbugs in a lot of buildings in Cleveland. You can save yourself the headache of being homeless by asking neighbors and landlord’s questions before you move in.

 Copyright Cleveland Street Chronicle March2017 Issue 24#1