Justice Coalition calling for help for 72-year-old violence victim

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A 72-year-old woman battered by a burglar has nowhere to live after she says her home was set on fire. Now there's a call to action to make her home livable again.

"All up here I had a black eye on this side, abrasions on my face," said Marti Williams describing her injuries.

Williams says the break-ins happened in April. The first time she didn't even realize her home was broken into until the next day. Two nights later another burglary.

"He came back again and broke into my bedroom and grabbed me around the neck and told me if I didn't give him money he was going to kill me," said Williams.

Williams says she handed over the cash she had. She says she was beaten by the suspect. She reported it to the police, but the worst wasn't over. Days later she says her garage was set on fire; she lost her home and her cat.

"Before everything hit about the house, the loss of the cat touched my heart so much of a living thing, and then I looked around at all the other destruction that was there and just felt totally helpless," added Williams.

The Justice Coalition says the suspect was caught, but now Williams' home is uninhabitable. The fire burned down the garage, blew out windows in her living room, ruined appliances and caused severe smoke damage.

"I have no home and everything's destroyed I've lost just about everything that have and I have no place to go," said Williams.

The health care center she's staying at has extended her stay temporarily. She says she reached out to several organizations but no one could help, until she reached the Justice Coalition.

"They came into my life and I said there's really still some wonderful people out there," said Williams.

With no family members and no place to go, Williams says her only hope is repairing her home, but she doesn't have the financial means to do so alone. So now the Justice Coalition is calling for laborers, dry wall installers, painters, volunteers, anyone who can help.

Anyone who can help donate materials, volunteer time, or even donate funds to help the Justice Coalition repair the damage in the home is asked to call board member Larry Ward at 904-703-3688.


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