From these first few pictures, it looks like any other tenant who has left a unit...
Who happened to leave all sorts of things...
the girls worked hard where I allowed them to work...more on that later!
|A very tired Anna!|
But that would be an understatement and only part of the story.
Backing up...after 16 or so months of non payment, (and sporadic, cash only payments before that!) we were finally able to evict a tenant. (We also learned that all it takes to avoid eviction is to avoid being served!) He happened to be in contract with us, not a property management company. He also happened to be the previous owner of the 4 plex in Shelton.
I didn't get pics before we got started. Here are the way things looked about 1/2 way through our first big day of work down there.
|We had already cleaned out a lot of stuff in order to be able to stand where I am to get this picture.|
And under all this stuff, was a DAYBED fully set up, with a night stand and tv on it!
We didn't even know it was there until we had unburied it!
|We had taken the 'heaps' of things off the counter and into boxes before taking this pic.|
We are so thankful for Dad's help on this project! He made 3 trips in his truck, 1 in the bus, and one time he pulled a 26' foot enclosed trailer behind his truck! (You can see it in one of the earlier pictures - and it was FULL.) We were not comfortable letting the girls help with certain rooms and areas...as we collected the following through his bedroom, and around the couch area.
For the most part, I would have to empty something out, or go through something, then let the girls take it down, after I knew they would be safe to do so...
We were able to get the apartment cleaned up, at least to a point where someone else can come in for a dump run, and to get it ready for renters. And if all of that were not enough, he also rented the downstairs...which happens to be 3600 sq ft!
|The extention cord coming from the ceiling is where we think he was steeling power from other units - including the empty one that we pay the electricity for!|
|I am hoping that this fridge works so that I am able to have a 2nd fridge!|
One fridge for 12 people is just not enough!
We still have the majority of this still to deal with...so this is not over for us.
The hard part about this is Shelton is about 2 1/2 hours away for us. We have other tenants down there who are watching over all of this, and looking out for any suspicious activity.
By law, we had to hold onto all of this for 45 days. Then we were able to do with it what we want. We had a garage sale. Then we donated the rest to the choir/band garage sale. They brought 2 trucks, 1 horse trailer, and a 15 passenger van with most of the seats out - and it was PERFECT to get all of the stuff leftover to their garage sale.
I for one, am so very grateful for the team of teens and Mrs. Riley, who helped to move all of this out of OUR garage! I hope and pray that their garage sale went well, too!
This whole project has been both very difficult and very healing for me personally. It is very different for me to be looking at all of this, a life spinning out of control because of drug abuse from an adult perspective. Walking into the apartment, it was amazing just how much the smell brought me back to my own childhood. Finding needles here and there, and a couple more tucked in to this or that, reminded me of my fear as a child each time I would unfold a bath towel, more often than now, needles would fall out. I am still praying for this man, where ever he is, and for his children and ex-wife.
Except for the grace of God, this is what sin will do in a person's life. The enemy truly comes to steal, kill and destroy. All sin is the same in God's eyes. God's way is bigger, and better, and His grace is sufficient. He sacrificed His Son, Jesus on the cross to die in my place. And in our tenant's place, and in the place of each person. All we have to do is realize that the very best we can bring to God is like a filthy rag and then accept what Jesus did for us on the cross.
God is good, all the time!