Frayser Neighbors Living In Urban Jungle

(Memphis) JoAnn Roden and her mother Doris Hodges live in Frayser. They can see the Memphis skyline from their backyard, but they say living on Stage Avenue is like living in a jungle.

They’ve found big rats inside their home.

Once, they even found a snake about 36 inches long squirming its way through the house.

They finally caught it curled up behind a living room sofa.

The critters as they say aren’t their only problem.

Lightning struck a huge tree on an adjacent property. A big part already fell. They’re scared the rest will come down anytime.

Roden said, “We’re terrified of the trees falling in on our house.”

There’s also the problem of kudzu from neighboring properties swallowing up their backyard. They say it’s just overwhelming.

“Nobody will help us cut nothing back in here. We have to keep our own yard cut and everything. But this right here just got us this year,” said Hodges.

The kudzu and brush have grown so wild in the neighborhood that the fire department might have trouble finding the fire hydrant.

WREG-TV found it covered up by all kids of weeds.

Roden said, “If my house catches on fire, if they don’t know where it’s at, what’s going to happen to our houses out here.”

The On Your Side Investigators found out one of the overgrown lots is owned by Mission Global Ministries.

We contacted them. They told us they’ll clear away their part of this jungle Thursday or Friday.

The owner of one of the other lots told us he is purposely letting it grow back into woods to keep people from dumping on it. He was unaware of the brush around the fire hydrant and got on the problem quickly.

Before the story aired, he had already cleared away the area around the fire hydrant.

This mother and daughter hope everyone else does their part to clean up soon. They’re on fixed incomes and moving would be difficult.

Roden said, “This is the reason why we’re staying where we’re at is because we can pay the rent and survive here. Anywhere else, there’s no way we can.”

The On Your Side Investigators will check back to see if the property owners keep their promise.

We also contacted the city of Memphis to check on Roden’s complaint against the railroad company that owns another neighboring overgrown lot.

WREG-TV wanted to know the status of her complaint and what was being done to see that the company cleared away its portion of the problem.

We are still waiting on the city’s response.

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