MARION, Iowa (KCRG/Gray News) - Complete darkness. That’s literally and figuratively what the residents at Oak Village Senior Residences in Marion say they feel like they’ve been living in, with no direction or way to turn to get help.
“We’re on our own. We have no power, no elevator. We have to go up three flights of stairs,” said Billy Fuller, a resident who’s lived at the complex for 5 years.
“We have nothing but a flashlight, no emergency lights, exit, nothing, and Cathy, the manager, has been here for two days cleaning up. That’s it.”
In addition, since Monday, there was no air conditioning, cold water, and very little if any food.
“I’ve been out of oxygen for three days,” said Fuller.
Both Fuller and Joy, a resident of 8 years, suffer from COPD, but have been doing their best to help other residents, getting around, getting supplies and checking in on others.
“These people are hungry. They want their phones, they are scared of the dark, what do we do,” said Joy.
They say they’ve reached out to management but the office has been closed. No one has checked on them and their usual community room has been locked since the pandemic began so their gathering space has become the outdoors.
“This is the worst I’ve seen it. We’re lucky to take a sponge bath,” Fuller added. “Corporate needs to be here to look and do something for us. They can afford a generator.”
Luckily, people like Shelley Fowler have stepped in to help, banding together to bring them water, ice and food.
“I was shocked that this could happen in our small town of Marion,” said Fowler.
Fowler posted in a Marion Facebook page, so others could join in too.
“I had a lady right away respond I can take over 50 sandwiches right now, so they’ve had lunch fed to them. We got another family that wants to donate hamburgers for tonight and watermelon cut-ups,” she said.
Fowler says she plans on continuing this until they get assistance. Fuller says in the meantime, they need any help they can get including ice for insulin and hot food, and just hopes things change for the better soon.
“The Red Cross is supposed to be here,” said Fuller. “And the Governor has been in town. Get us help. Do something. She was up at the city park up here but we haven’t heard nothing from nobody.”
If people do want to help out they can reach out to Fowler through the Marion Happenings Facebook Page.