Todd Tober is a Facebook friend of mine. He is the president of Tober Building Company. His company built Stoney Pointe Commons, a 68-unit development for homeless people and people with disabilities.
There is now a second article in the Beacon Journal talking about the rodents at Stoney Pointe Commons.
Teneeka Hamilton had to move back into her car because she was getting extremely sick because of the rodent feces. She said she contracted histoplasmosis, an infection caused by breathing in spores of bird, bat and rodent feces.
Teneeka said mice scurried across her bed as she tried to sleep, and she found droppings nearly everywhere in her apartment, including where she prepared food.
Todd replied to a Facebook post with some replies to my post. I have screen captured those comments and pasted them in this post so you can see his replies.
I also received private messages from the wife of a man who worked on this project. She said that she believed Teneeka was lying. And then she also pointed out that she has been a financial supporter of mine with the homeless community and another charity I am indirectly involved with. Her comments sounded economically threatening to me... that I owed her to not speak my mind because she paid me money.
I WILL NEVER STOP SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER BECAUSE OF MONEY... NO MATTER HOW DIFFICULT A POSITION IT PUTS ME IN.
The point of the woman and Todd is that they feel like their side of the story is not being represented. And they also are suggesting that the Beacon and Taneeka are lying. I want their opinion to be known.
I don't believe either Taneeka or the Beacon are lying. I believe they are both telling the truth because I currently have roaches in my house where I shelter homeless people. And last year we were over-run by rats. I haven't seen rats this year.
The truth is that the homeless community is incredibly complicated... primarily with mental illness. These significant issues often lead to significant hoarding and not keeping their spaces clean. (I will also include a new picture of a tent we just cleaned out on Friday. I'd like to say that it was an uncommon occurrence. But it's not. I see unimaginable trash and rot in tents, tiny houses and in our house.)
I'd like to suggest that Todd try to hold back the incredible temptation to become defensive. The more money involved and the higher a person is in an organization the more likely it is that they will become defensive... to protect the organization at all costs.
Let's have the complicated conversation. That, yes, they have rats and rodents. And yes, the situation is complicated. And yes, the powers that be need to grow and continue to work harder. And yes, we have to grow as an entire community.
These are the Beacon Journal articles:
'I lost everything': Rodent misery, illness drive tenant from Akron housing complex
The tale of four complexes: How will Akron address 'widespread, systemic' housing issues?