Abandoned next-door property keeps flood victim from returning home
BATON ROUGE - A bent and broken chain link fence is the only thing separating one woman's home of 21 years and the blighted property next door.
"It needs to be a safe neighborhood, and it's not safe right now, not with the doors wide open and abondoned. That's not safe," Patricia Battiste said.
Patricia's flooded home is 90 percent complete, but getting to this point wasn't easy.
During the construction, she was the target of thieves, stealing her "shelter at home" belongings on two separate occasions.
Now that Patricia is ready to move back home, she faces a new obstacle. She's living next to an abandoned house.
She says her neighbors haven't been back since the flood. Windows are smashed, trash and debris piled in front of the yard, and the door to the home stays open.
But the home's condition isn't her main concern, it's her safety.
"I saw a man over there one day, he came out and I told him I was going to call the police, and he didn't care, he said 'call the police!'" Patricia said.
After two home invasions and burglaries, she's not taking any chances.
"It is not an area for an elderly person to be next to, trying to live there. And who knows who's going to be over there," Patricia said.
Patricia has filed several complaints with the city and police department. She says just wants to feel safe before returning home.