Disabled residents tired of broken elevator

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by ALISON MORROW / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @AlisonMorrowTV

KING5.com

Posted on March 15, 2014 at 11:26 PM

Updated Saturday, Mar 15 at 11:29 PM

Many of the Canaday House residents on Minor Avenue in Seattle already have a hard time moving around due to disabilites. Since their elevator broke earlier this week, they admit it's gotten a lot harder to get back to their apartments.

"I was on it when it got stuck," said Chris Snell. "It went out with a hiss and a bang. They had to crank us down on the lower floor."

Snell is bound to a wheelchair and breathes with the help of an oxygen tank. Thankfully, Snell said, he lives on the second floor and the back entrance takes him directly to his apartment.

For others, a sign taped to the elevator points them to the stairs, alerting them that the elevator is not working.

The Canaday House is 6-stories high and part of Seattle's Housing First program, containing 83 studio units that give immediate shelter to those in need.

Residents are considered to be vulnerable or have disabilities.

"There are like 4 or 5 people who live here who are in wheelchairs - and there are walkers," resident John Bailey said.

Gary Prater has to count nearly a dozen flights of stairs to his apartment because he can't see them.

"Like some flights have 9 stairs, others have 8," Prater explained. "At least once every time coming down, almost fall down the stairs."

Prater and his guide dog, "Petey", have walked the stairs since Tuesday, when he says the elevator broke for the second time in the last couple months.

He estimates the elevator's broken about 5 times in the four years that he's lived at the Canaday House.

According to Snell, staff members have to carry some of the residents up and down the stairs.

"Throw their arm over their shoulder or what not. Help them up or down," Snell said.

Management did not return KING 5's request for comment. They ordered a special part to fix the elevator, residents told KING 5, but it may not arrive until late next week.

"I'd rather them be proactive so this never happens again," Prater said.

 

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