CYPRESS, Texas (KTRK) -- Despite qualifying for rental relief, two disabled veterans were evicted from their Cypress home, leaving them with no place to go ahead of the holidays.
The property management company for The Estates at Cypress apartments said the couple was behind on rent by more than $12,000, so a judge gave the go-ahead for eviction. The Denhams missed that day in court because they were sick, and had arranged payment through rent relief programs through the end of this year. However, none of that mattered when a constable and eviction team showed up at their door.
Steven Denham Sr. was not able able to explain his way out of being evicted Thursday morning. His home security system showed Disrupt Management's team throwing his possessions and even making cruel remarks as they put his broken belongings in black bags.
"This is just wrong. Half of this stuff is my mom's, who passed away a few years ago," Denham said.
Denham said he and his neighbors also had to search through all of his belongings to find the medicine his wife depends on.
"Diabetes. Mental issues. She shouldn't be going through this right now," Denham said.
Brynn Rodriguez, who also lives at the complex, is one of several neighbors who banded together to help Denham sort and store his belongings. She said he is usually the one helping other people.
"This is not how you treat a human in general, an older person in general, or a veteran in general. Where is the compassion?" Rodriguez said.
When asked about what happened, Disrupt Management's regional supervisor, Lori Boyd, said, "We received notification of the approval of funds from Texas Rent Relief but did not receive the actual funds until after the possession was granted through the courts."
Boyd also said the team could be subject to discipline based on the content in the security videos.
It was little relief for Denham, who is now relying on the kindness of his former neighbors.
"We all pulled cash together to give them to put them in a motel. His wife is still there. They have absolutely no place to go. They have no family here," Rodriguez said.
"It's been a God-send. I didn't know I had this many people that cared about me," Denham said.
Rodriguez started a GoFundMe account for the Denhams. They're asking for donations until they can find permanent housing.