Neighborhood comes to aid of sick man evicted from home

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A mattress, box spring and head board is all that's left in the alley between Lakewood and Wayne in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood.  But last Thursday it didn't look like this.

Jermell "Jay" Deshazor's stuff was all piled up in the alleyway. He had been kicked out of his apartment.

"I watched him get evicted. And it was a sad sight to see anyways, but I figured somebody would be here to pick him up. And sure enough by Thursday night, when my husband came home, nobody was there to pick him up," said neighbor Michelle Cintron.

"It was tugging at her heart from the very beginning.  She kept calling me while I was at work.  'He's still out there.  No one's helping him out,'" neighbor Pablo Cintron said.

Michelle and Pablo and other neighbors jumped into action. They rallied around Jay, asking for help on the social media site EveryBlock. More than 100 people commented asking what they could do.

"It completely blew up, more than I ever thought it would. I guess now it's just a matter of trying to get him situated into housing and giving him the help that he really needs," Michelle said.

Michelle started a donation page for Jay on gofundme.com. In three days, they've raised more than $3,400 so the 32-year-old can have a new start.

"You don't really know people are hurting til it's crisis time...and this was crisis time," said neighbor Dave Davenport.

What has made this situation even more stressful is that Jay had a kidney transplant and wasn't getting the attention or medicine he needed.  Michelle and Pablo took him to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he's stabilized.  He spoke with WGN's Marcella Raymond  over the phone.

"I  just want to thank everybody that came and showed their love and support. I appreciated it. And I just can't thank them enough," Jay said.

For more on how you can help Jay, click here.

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2 comments

  • C.Pfeiffer

    i was born and raised in Chicago Grew up in Uptown, later moved to Edgewater and Rogers Park until I got married andover out of State. I know Chicago has problem like ever where else. However I am VERY proud of one of my old Neighborhoodschool for what they did to get this man some help. That’s one thing I always tell my husband, there is nothing like Chicagoans!!! I’m proud!