A group of senior citizens residing in Sunnyside are expressing their frustration and dismay over their living conditions in apartments infested with bed bugs. The Simmons Gardens Apartments, located on Scott Street near Airport Boulevard, are designated for individuals aged 55 and above. However, many residents argue that it is inhumane to subject seniors to such deplorable conditions.
Lola Walker, a concerned individual speaking on behalf of her sister and brother-in-law, who have resided at the apartments for 20 years, describes the bed bug situation as dire. She explains that the infestation is severe, with the bugs emerging from walls, ceilings, and beds, leaving her sister and brother-in-law covered in bites. Disturbing images of bed bugs crawling on residents’ beds and personal belongings further highlight the gravity of the situation.
The impact of the infestation extends beyond physical discomfort. Lillie Littleton, a 74-year-old resident of eight years, confesses that she struggles to sleep due to the constant fear of being bitten. Unfortunately, many residents find themselves trapped in this nightmarish situation, unable to afford relocation or the repeated expense of discarding infested belongings.
“We have thrown away furniture after furniture, clothes after clothes, and I’m tired of replacing. They need help over here,” Walker asserts passionately. While she does not reside in the apartments herself, she empathizes with her sister and brother-in-law, both of whom face health challenges. She insists that urgent assistance is required.
Walker reveals that her sister and brother-in-law have been battling the bed bug infestation at Simmons Gardens Apartments since 2019. The frustration and helplessness experienced by residents are palpable, as they feel their pleas for assistance have fallen on deaf ears. Walker discloses that her sister’s furniture, bedding, clothing, and everything in the apartment have been discarded four times already. The ongoing problem persists because the buildings are not being simultaneously treated, allowing the bed bugs to persist.
Acknowledging the seriousness of the situation, the Houston Health Department confirms an ongoing investigation into the bed bug infestation at the senior complex. They report that the apartment management has responded and scheduled pest control measures. However, residents and their caregivers argue that the sporadic pest control services have proven ineffective. They are demanding a comprehensive treatment plan to be implemented and followed through.
The plight of the senior residents is distressing, as they feel mistreated and neglected in their own homes. Sheryl Williams, a caregiver for one of the residents, emphasizes that seniors should be able to enjoy a comfortable living environment. She insists that they deserve better and calls for urgent action.
Residents who find themselves in a similar predicament are encouraged to report the issue to the Houston Health Department by calling 311. This will enable the health authorities to investigate and address the problem promptly. As of the time of publishing this report, the management of Simmons Gardens Apartments had not responded to any calls or emails.