NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A disabled North Fort Myers woman has a new home, after spending two months living in an abandoned drug house.
72-year-old Eloise Gierke was evicted from her home on Cypress Street, along with dozens of others last year. The evictions were a result of a neighborhood drug bust, after which property owners cleaned out the entire neighborhood. After the eviction, Gierke resorted to living in the woods, and then an abandoned drug house on Oak Street, owned by a man named Brad.
According to Gierke, Brad allowed her to live in the structure for a fee. The house had no running water or electricity, and was piled high with garbage when 4 In Your Corner first met the 72-year-old.
Two weeks ago, DCF officials convinced Gierke to accept medical treatment for a condition in her legs that was worsening. Emergency crews pulled her out of the Oak Street home, and took her to a hospital.
Gierke almost denied the treatment because she didn't want to leave her two dogs, Max and Ruby, behind, as the hospital would not allow them. North Shore Animal Hospital, an animal clinic in the area, offered to watch the dogs as Gierke received treatment. The senior reluctantly accepted.
After seeing our first story on Gierke, showing how she was evicted from her home and living in a drug house, the manager of a North Fort Myers property decided to make her a tenant.
“I hope you'll be comfortable here…I think you will.”
Friday, Gierke moved in. Max and Ruby are allowed to stay there, too. She hadn't seen them since she was hospitalized almost 2 weeks ago.
4 In Your Corner captured the moment staff from the animal clinic brought the dogs to their new home.
“We bathed them, gave them stuff for fleas, got the fleas out…they got the spa treatment,” says Teresa Kincade of North Shore Animal Hospital.
“I missed you so much (crying).” With her best friends back in her arms, Gierke is ready to start a new life, with new friends who say they’ll check on her and the pups every day.