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Columbus city employees pay it forward, help child found in deplorable living conditions

Columbus city employees pay it forward so a 7-year-old girl could have what might be her first Christmas. (WSYX/WTTE)

Columbus city employees pay it forward so a 7-year-old girl could have what might be her first Christmas.

Code enforcement officers visited a home on Skywae Drive last month to check out complaints about high grass and a car on the property that wasn’t working.

Heather Truesdell with Columbus Code Enforcement shared with ABC6 pictures the officers snapped at the home.

The pictures illustrate a cluttered and filthy basement where Truesdell says the child lived with her mother and the daughter.

Truesdell says the property owner is deceased and the woman’s daughter lived at the home too as the caretaker for the deceased owner’s husband.

“There were six cats here to there were issues with cat feces and cleanliness that existed throughout the entire house,” said Truesdell.

When officers went to the home last month, Truesdell says the child answered the door.

“Who appeared to be really filthy dirty and expressed to the code officers that she was hungry but that her mother was asleep,” said Truesdell.

The home was deemed uninhabitable and an emergency order to vacate opened a new chapter for the little girl.

“We received information the child had never been enrolled in school and she had one set of clothing,” said Truesdell.

Truesdell says the girl is now living with her grandparents who got her started in kindergarten.

Another first is also about to happen.

In the code enforcement office, spare change buys a cup of coffee, pop and water.

During past holidays, Truesdell says the coffee club collection has been donated to Wounded Warriors and the Mid-Ohio Food Bank.

“We thought it was perfect for us to reach out to other people in this department and also take the funds from that coffee club and give them to this little girl to help her get clothing and toys and have a Christmas she says she’s never met Santa,” said Truesdell.

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