Woman fears she'll lose home over code enforcement violations

69-year-old says she's lived there all her life

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Wearing a light blue outfit that matches the walls of her beloved Northwest Jacksonville home, Shirley Johnson points to code enforcement violations.

"I was born in this house and I'm 69, and my first child was born in this house and she's deceased now," Johnson said.

She's on disability and doesn't have the money to pay for necessary repairs, which she's afraid will lead to the city turning off her electricity, forcing her out.

"I'd probably lose it," Johnson said of her home. "I've been here all my life and I expect God to take me home from this place right here."

Shirley Johnson points to damage to her home.
Shirley Johnson points to damage to her home.

The damage to the home consists of mold, mildew, cracks and holes.

Johnson said code enforcement officials told her all of the damage needs to be repaired and painted. It's the same thing all around the sides of her house.

"There's this wire thing here, too," Johnson said. "It has to be put back up on the side of the house, too."

Johnson fumbles with her keys and works her way inside, pointing out that the place isn't perfect, but it's hers and makes her happy.

"See, a lot of people, they got to have the luxury and stuff, but this is my luxury right here, my home," she said.

Johnson said she's reached out to several organizations asking for help, with no luck. And the 30 days allotted to fix her house are almost up.

"It brings tears to my eyes because I've been here all my life," Johnson said. "I don't want to lose my place. I want to be here until the rest of my days go out. How short or long it may be, I want to be right here."

A city spokeswoman said through the independent living program, senior citizens who meet a certain criteria may be able to get home repairs assistance.