By Jimmie Ferguson
Killeen Daily Herald
Positive things are beginning to happen for a 84-year-old Belton woman who has lived in her mobile home for the past two years without electricity and running water.
On Thursday, Antonia "Tony" Quinteros was given eyeglasses by the Area Agency on Aging of Central Texas, said Sandra Jones, a certified information and referral specialist with the agency.
"We are also completing an application for Belton Housing Authority to get her into an apartment there," Jones said. "We don't know at this point whether it will be on a long term or a short term, because we are working with several other businesses and organizations to rehab her mobile home, if it's possible."
Earlier this week, the condition of Quinteros' mobile home was brought to the public's attention by Joe Trevino Jr. of Belton, who has set out to help the elderly there living in undesirable conditions.
Quinteros has literally fallen through the cracks of the floors in her bedroom, bathroom and kitchen at her home at 720 E. 10th Ave.
Aluminum foil covers the frames of the broken out windows. The front door won't close and is kept together with duct tape. She gets water from her sister's house next door to drink and to use to flush her toilet. It's also where she gets her hot meals prepared.
Since the article in Wednesday's Killeen Daily Herald, Trevino said the public has stepped up.
Arrow Electric Company in Killeen has offered to donate a free service pole and electricity. Bell Air Conditioning has offered its help.
"I heard that Wal-Mart was going to donate items to her and McCoy's wanted to donate materials," Trevino said.
James Hoverson, a mobile home repair specialist, wants to donate his money and his services and possibly his church's volunteers as well, said Trevino, noting a resident wants to donate furniture.
First Lt. Dwayne Simmons of Fort Hood also wanted to volunteer his services.
In an e-mail to the Herald, Simmons said, "I read your article on Ms. Quinteros in today's paper. It is hard to believe that someone this age has to live in such horrible conditions. I am from South Carolina and kind of used to seeing it."
Simmons asked whether the city of Belton or Bell County was going to be doing something to help Quinteros.
Simmons went on to say that he just returned from Iraq and Quinteros' living conditions look no better than the people there.
"I would like to help this individual out if I can," Simmons said. "Is there a fund or something I can send something to for her and only her? If not I am going to start something on my own to help Ms. Quinteros out."
Anyone wanting to offer their assistance can contact Trevino at (254) 718-9966 or Diamond Martinez at the Area Agency on Aging of Central Texas at 1-800-447-7169.
Contact Jimmie Ferguson at firstname.lastname@example.org