GLADEWATER, Texas (KLTV) – After being cited and facing a possible fine, a Gladewater landlord received a visit she hadn’t expected.
Code Enforcement Officer Maria Tidwell of Gladewater inspects properties to ensure they are not in breach of ordinances.
Recently, she found a disturbing one.
“So much trash. You couldn’t walk in the back yard. Snakes, rodents, all that trash,” she says.
Tidwell initially cited owner Judy Lewis, who was given 30 days to clean up the mess.
“I didn’t know what I was going to do because it took us three months and I’m still working on the front. That’s where my husband had his heart attack. I pretty much lost faith in just about everything. Things went downhill,” Lewis says. “No matter what situation people are in, I always have a job to do.”
But Tidwell decided to learn Lewis’ story.
“My husband had a stroke and had to stop working. I just felt like there was no hope,” Judy said.
“Her husband had three heart attacks and Lou Gehrig’s disease. If I can work with our citizens and help them, that’s what I want. I want to solve their problem,” Maria said.
And that’s when a local church approached Tidwell.
“I’m like, ‘Maria, how can we, as our city’s partner church, help meet people’s needs where they need them?’ said Teddy Sorrells of the Living Water Church in Gladewater.
“My boss got a dumpster and it all fell into place,” Tidwell says.
Within two hours, Lewis’ job site was clean.
And for Judy, there is now proof that the good hearts are still there.
“There are still good people. There are a lot of good people out there,” she said.
The group plans to do further work to help Miss Lewis improve her property.
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