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Four months later, Allen Benedict residents still moving out belongings

The Housing Authority released their latest relocation numbers. As of Monday, 235 out of the 237 displaced families have identified permanent housing and 17 of those are still living in hotels.
Credit: WLTX

(WLTX) -- Next Friday marks four months since Calvin Witherpoon Jr. and Derrick Roper died from carbon monoxide poisoning at Allen Benedict Cour apartments in Columbia.

To this day, residents who were forced to move are still moving their belongings out of the complex.

"We haven't been back here since all this happened," former Allen Benedict Court resident Richard Young said.

Richard Young and his fiancée Cathy Pearson lived in unit J-4 at Allen Benedict Court. A place 411 tenants used to call home is now deserted. 

"To be honest with you, if I didn't have to come back here and get all my stuff from here I wouldn't even of come back," Young said.

Yellow no trespassing signs from January 18 are still stuck to the front doors of apartments. It's a day forever engraved in Young's mind.

"There's too many things going on right now which is out of my hands, but thanks to the grace of God that I'm still here because it could of been me," Young said. "It could of been everybody."

Since January, Young and his fiancée bounced around to at least four different hotels.

"Life has been, it's been up and down because we were still being in a hotel," Young said. "We was in a hotel for about four months, think we be able to get up out of there because it's all been, it's like a nervous break down."

On their own dime, Young said they finally found a permanent home.

"We had to spend our own personal money to do all this stuff, which is no problem, I'm just thankful to God we're still here," Young said. "I just want to get in our place and get back to our normal life of living."

Young said he was given 24 hours to clear all their belongings from 1810 Allen Benedict Court. That was their home together for three years. 

"I just hope no one else has to go through the thing we went through," Young said.

The Columbia Housing Authority Board is holding a special called meeting at 4 p.m. Thursday. News 19 is told they will be discussing interim executive director applications.

The Housing Authority released their latest relocation numbers and as of Monday, 235 out of the 237 displaced families have identified permanent housing. 17 of those are still living in hotels, one still needs to find permanent housing, 5 are moving to Lexington and 11 are waiting on inspections.