Homeless Couple Given Home Strips It To Buy Crack

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(Memphis) Police say a Memphis homeless couple given a free home this year has since stripped it for parts.

Police say the couple took everything inside this house to buy crack cocaine.

Patricia Douglas and Willie Banner got the home in February as part of a federal program to house 100,000 homeless people around the country.

Back in February, the couple was overjoyed to get placed in the house.

Now, it’s all boarded up.

“It was cold and I got wet last night,” said Banner in December 2012.

“It ain't fun. It ain't nice,” said Douglas.

They went from living on the streets to getting keys to their own house.

“I got my keys!” laughed Douglas in February.

Now Douglas and her boyfriend are in jail accused of stripping the duplex that they got to live in for free.

“I am shocked, really” said Kelcey Johnson, director of the Hospitality Hubs that takes applications from homeless people who want housing.

We talked to Johnson when Douglas and Banner got the house in North Memphis.

It had a bed, refrigerator, all the luxuries of a regular home.

That's all gone now, police say it was stolen to buy crack cocaine. WREG was there Tuesday when police recovered the A/C unit they allegedly sold to their neighbor.

“I really feel bad for the landlord that put his property into this program,” said Johnson.

The program is "100 homes Memphis."

Federal money is used to house homeless people.

Drug testing is not a part of it.

“Drug use and abuse alcohol use and abuse does not disqualify people for this program,” said Johnson.

In fact Johnson says only about one out of 30 who apply qualify for the program and it’s usually those with the most issues who get in, those that are chronically homeless.

Those who help decide which people get picked say changes could be possible.

“I think they should probably have treatment before housing,” said Thomas Anderson, outreach worker for Hospitality Hub who also sits on the panel that picks people for housing.

Both Banner and Douglas are locked-up on about $50,000 bonds.

Hospitality Hub says it’s seen other troubles with the homeless in housing but this is the first arrest or situation like this it’s heard about.

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  • Anonymous

    See this is exactly why people can’t do nice thing for fiends and thieves. It just makes me sick to my stomach. These people clearly didn’t deserve the house in the first place. They belong on the streets. This home should have been given to people more appreciative of the blessing of a home.

    • Carmen Borden

      you’re right about that. some people are undeserving of assistance. there are some truly good people facing hard times and would have so appreciated this help. the people i think that would have been more thankful are single women living in shelters with they little ones. i vote for that instead of the homeless. and drug testing is mandatory!

    • Phil

      An old friend gave me sage advice, some years previous: “You help the people that WANT it, NOT the people that need it.” All anyone needed to do, is to ask The Union Mission how it screens applicants for its services. They have years of experience dealing with the scams of the “homeless.” MOST “homeless,” are without homes..as the result of poor choices. Yes, some are mentally deficient. They should be offered treatment, within the guidelines of the law. A home should require the effort and dignity of work for its attainment. There are many jobs that could be performed by those seeking help. Many must learn that “there is NO such thing…as a FREE Lunch.”

  • Joe Williams

    Federal money is used to house homeless people.

    Drug testing is not a part of it.

    “Drug use and abuse alcohol use and abuse does not disqualify people for this program,” said Johnson.

    Sounds like how people qualify for welfare and these programs needs to re-addressed…

    • Don

      The program is “100 homes Memphis.”

      Federal money is used to house homeless people.

      Drug testing is not a part of it.

      This sounds like another brain storm of president Zero….. and hailed by Mayor Zero

  • Minnie Melody

    What? I can’t believe it. bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha (whew) hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  • american born muslim

    This is REALLY a disgusting story. You CANNOT give a substance abuser a house without requiring rehab first. For once, the right thing was done by jailing these people. To many working families are in Memphis a few paychecks from the street to show any mercy on somebody who gets a free house and pulls this foolishness.

  • 1midtownmike

    Aren’t social programs a great way to instill guilt into a money source that gives to an unappreciative segment of society who feel they have a sense of entitlement?

    Embracing diversity is a wonderful thing!

  • Jim

    Yes, I agree with the comment that this is exactly why people do not give to help people. I quit giving just because of this very thing. And again, federal tax dollars to free loaders. Free loaders know how to work the system and are proud of it!

  • Georgia johnson

    This city do stuff backward I tried to get help from this city but always get turned down every time. And being truthful don’t get you anything in this town years ago I put a application there long time and was turned down.

    • Emmanuel Goldstein

      I agree this was a poorly thought-out system, but it is ONE case out of hundreds.You would be hard pressed to find any program that works every time. This program actually has an incredibly high success rate, which is actually surprising to me. At least this program did not cost the feds much (it is through HUD and landlords put up their properties and are compensated a lot less than what they would get in the fair market, similar to ‘section 8’). I hope you are as concerned about the hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars that we lose to manipulation of the corporate welfare system by large companies that game the system and end up making billions while not paying much, or sometimes ANY taxes. Just two years ago, GE paid ZERO in taxes yet made $14 BILLION in profit. They did this by shifting money through different shells all over the world. So what is worse: One house out of hundreds gets wrecked and taxpayers foot the bill for a few grand, or losing out on BILLIONS in tax revenue because of manipulation of conservative corporate welfare?

  • momma to 3

    Instead of wasting tax payers money on druggies why don’t yall help people like me? I’m a recently divorced mom working 2 jobs and taking care of my 3 children dad doesn’t pay his court ordered child support and I’m told I make 1.00 too much for assistance. So because I don’t drink or do drugs and I’m working my butt off to try to take care of my family I don’t qualify… if I were to get an addiction I would that makes no since. Help those that want help not just those that are looking for a hand out… and don’t give them the place for free. Set requirements, community service help rehab the home cut grass pay towards the property pay something on bills make them have a job and show proof.

  • Adam Piec

    That’s why These people were homeless in the first place. Dey lazy, dry don’t want to work but sit around smoke crack. Think of this when the gubmint takes your earned money for taxes to house this worthless POS race.

    • Emmanuel Goldstein

      In your facebook picture, are you the fat drunk guy or the transvestite that he has his arm around? Just curious.

  • Landlord8544

    The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. It feels so good to be a Liberal Do-Gooder, but the results do everybody involved a disservice.

  • silly2

    Disgusting!! They should be made to pay back everything somehow. And let future tenants know they will be liable for losses & damages. Good For Nothing!

  • Shane

    These people used the system while in the house to support their habits, like many do on a daily basis with their welfare and food stamps, which they were probably also getting. I don’t think they would care if they were liable for damages or missing property. Even locked up the tax payers are still supporting them, and they are likely still getting their drugs or some sort of substitute. As long as the system keeps propping them up, they will gladly keep leeching I’m sure.

  • Dan

    and they are still being housed for free…at least free to them… This country will never wake up, They still have an Obama phone

  • Terrell Oduya

    What surprises anyone about this? You take knuckle draggers who have no appreciation for their gibsmedats whose only instinct is to destroy.The feral beasts’ natural habitat is a mud hut with nothing in it but their natural stench so why did it matter if they are homeless.Ship them all back to the motherland and these problems cease to exist.

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