Elderly Littleton residents worry they soon might be homeless

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Seniors rescued during apartment fire

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LITTLETON, Colo. -- More than a dozen elderly Littleton residents are facing an uncertain future after their senior living complex was destroyed by fire earlier this month.

At least 14 people do not have any family they can live with and soon will have no permanent place to live after learning Tuesday they will not be able to return to their homes in the Southview Place Towers.

When Mary Cunningham moved into the complex about 10 years, she figured it was the last move she would ever make.

“It’s not easy to find a place and they’re very expensive,” she told the FOX31 Denver Problem Solvers.

But for the first time in her life, the 87-year-old could be homeless. She’s temporarily living at the Brookdale Senior Living Community in Highlands Ranch, which graciously took her in, but she’ll have to move out in about a week.

“I don’t know where I’m going to wind up, but I’m looking for a place right now hoping I can find something,” she said.

And Cunningham isn’t alone. Five other elderly women are also staying at Brookdale without a permanent place to live. Kay Rogers is one of them.

“We do have each other, so we have a lot of friends, a lot of people to help,” she said.

Until recently, all of them were staying at an American Red Cross shelter, sleeping on cots and sharing bathrooms.

“We’re in a lot better shape than a lot of people,” Rogers said. “We had some blind people, handicapped people in wheelchairs, people who can’t walk. It’s just so sad. And a lot of people on oxygen.”

All of those displaced assumed their living situations were temporary.

“It was such a shock. The building looks fine,” Rogers said.

However, on Tuesday night the FOX31 Problem Solvers learned that won’t be the case. Residents have to move out. Now the women don’t know where they’ll go.

“It’s hard. Hard on all of us,” Cunningham said.

The residents will be moving Thursday. They spent much of Wednesday trying to get help from a resource center. The Red Cross and a church organization have been working together on the relocation, but it's proving more difficult than anticipated.

It’s a tough pill to swallow for two women who were supposed to be enjoying their golden years, not worrying about becoming homeless.

If you can help, email the FOX31 Problem Solvers.

A fund has been set up for the fire victims by Arapahoe County. Learn how to donate online.

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