Contractor helps North Philadelphia woman with porch repair

PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) Things are looking up for a North Philadelphia woman after she says she signed a contract  to have her dilapidated front porch rebuilt before it fell down.According to the woman, the contactor took her money and never showed up to do the work.

After our story aired another contractor stepped up to help the woman with money from his owner pocket. FOX 29 cameras were there on Monday as the work begun.

Regina Gardner says not a day or night goes by when she isn't living in fear that her front porch could collapse.
According to Gardner, she's been living a nightmare since last June when she called a contractor to her home to repair the dilapidated porch.  She says things got so bad; she couldn't even let her grandchildren come outside to play.

“I couldn't even let them come outside to sit on the porch in the summertime because I’m afraid it will come crashing down,” Regina Gardner told FOX 29.

Gardner suffers from chronic anxiety, hypertension and heart problems. She's on disability with a fixed income. Last June. she managed to scrape together $1,800 to fix the porch with the help of family and friends. She brought Tyrell Wright from the Wrightway Company to her home to get an estimate and do the repairs.

“They looked at the porch, they go upstairs and look out the window. They see how bad it is. They both agree that it's in very bad condition. They say they can do it," Regina explained.

So Regina says she entered into a contract with Wright to repair the porch, put in rain gutters, then prep and paint the porch. The total cost: $1,800. Regina says she gave Wright $400 in cash on June 8th, then another $500 on June 30th, According to Regina, she signed the bill and he signed the bill.

"They would just start totally ignoring my calls, then he would say he was sick. He was out of town, working on another job Going on and on and on. Excuse after excuse," she said.

Regina then went to the place on Castor and Glenwood where Wright told her his company was located. The bill even listed the address. She decided to confront him.

"He said he would bring me my money that evening and he never showed up," Regina told FOX 29.

Regina finally got tired of waiting for the work to be done. She gave up and went to court where she filed suit against Wright and his company. In October she won a judgment against him.

"I got a judgment in my favor for  $995, neither one of them came to court," she said.

Regina says she hasn't seen a dime.

So FOX 29 Investigates went looking for Wright. First, at a car lot where he supposedly had his business, according to the bill he gave Gardner. Then at this home where he supposedly lived. He wasn't at
either location.

We checked the internet and found a Tyrell Wright advertising under Wrightway Management Company to do renovations and demolition work. We called him and emailed him, but there was no answer. We even found an ad where he advertised rooms for rent. Same name, same phone number but no answers. We checked city records and could find no property listed for Tyrell Wright anywhere in Philadelphia. 

For now, Regina Gardner says each prediction of snow or heavy rain leaves her in fear her porch could come crashing down.

"It's been a nightmare. It hasn't helped my anxiety. It hasn't helped my hypertension. I'm very angry," she said. 'I want them punished for what they did . I'm probably not the only victim they got out there. They were scam artists."

Regina Gardner tells FOX 29 she's already been told by L&I that If the porch collapses she could be forced out of her home. 

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