Columbus community comes together to help elderly man who went days without power, AC

Columbus community comes together to help elderly man who went days without power, AC

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Members of one neighborhood in Columbus say they’re wanting to put the unity back in community after one of their neighbors went without power and air conditioning for days.

They sprang into action to make a change.

“We have to look out for our neighbors,” says Tim Sanks.

Robert Shannon is 67 years old. He’s lived in his home on Alton Street for a little over a year. He says since the beginning of September, he’s had problems with break-ins, air conditioning, and the power being cut to his home after his landlord stated he was behind on payments. He says that’s not the case. Shannon says power was cut to his home for days in the middle of 90 degree weather.

“I use to have to keep my shirt off every day to try to keep cool,” Shannon explains.

Neighbors say normally, he would sit on the porch and talk with them. When they hadn’t heard from him in days, they went to check on him and saw him sitting in the heat without power to his home.

“It’s hard to swallow. It’s hard to comprehend that he was going through that in the neighborhood,” says Shannon’s neighbor Hurbert Reliford.

“He was in a house or apartment in 100-degree weather with no air," says Sanks.

The landlord says the disconnect notice from Georgia Power was dated September the 5 for non-payment. She says after the notice, she locked the power box outside the home, so he couldn’t turn it back on. One neighbor ran a power cord from his home to provide power to him when he saw Shannon in his home without air conditioning.

"I had the cord running to my house since last Tuesday and Wednesday," says Benjamin Shakespeare.

Neighbors then stepped in to help Shannon move to a new apartment. They moved all of his furniture into his new place for free.

“Columbus has to put the neighbor back in the hood. This is a neighborhood. I would love to see this love spread to other parts. Like I said let’s put the neighbor back in the hood,” says Shakespeare.

Shannon says he’s happy to have the support and a new home.

“I appreciate it very much for what they did for me. They got me in here. Now, I can keep my shirt on in the daytime,” says Shannon.

He can’t call them neighbors anymore now that he’s moved to a new place, but he says he’s happy that they helped him. On Thursday, they took him to get groceries to fill up his new refrigerator since all of his food was spoiled since he had no power. He says he’s happy he can eat a home-cooked meal tonight.

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