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WICHITA, Kansas – The last few hours just haven’t been the same for Raymond Johnson.
His weekly treatment for many medical problems came 24 hours after losing everything he owned to an early morning fire on Tuesday.
“I really don’t want to think nothing about it. I’m trying to wipe that out of my mind.
Ray is one of 70 plus people who lived at Ashley Lane Apartments. The fire happened so fast that he didn’t have time to grab shoes, medication, or his teeth.
“I’ve been blessed to be able to get some clothes, shoes. I just got this one pair, and they busted.”
Ray says he’s fortunate unlike some of his neighbors, he was able to save his truck. Now, his main focus is just finding his identity.
“Start all over again just like a new-born.”
But that task won’t be easy.
Mary McAdams, Raymond’s friend, has spent the day making calls to the social security office and section 8, among other places.
“And then you have to call this number and that number most of the people living there don’t have anyone there to help them with that.”
Making matters worse, Ashley Lane has returned safety deposits to all displaced tenants officially making them homeless, and without an address, getting government assistance, vouchers, and food stamps means piecing their lives back together even more challenging.
“I think there won’t be many people to come back from this,” said McAdams.
Ray will turn 72 next Friday. He says all he wants is a home.
My Sacred Home, the treatment facility he uses, has reached out to local doctors and a dentist to help him out.
His Helping Hands
1441 E. 37th Street North
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
Suggested items to donate include: Clothing, beds, bed linens, wash cloths, bath towels, pillows, dressers, night stands, kitchen tables and chairs, plates, forks, spoons, knives, cups, sofas, love seats, living room chairs and any other essential household items.
Sharon Baptist Church
Monday – Friday before 4:30 p.m.
2221 South Oliver