The efforts of three handicapped people in Alexandria to remain in their church-owned rooming house despite attempts to evict them were cut short yesterday when the City Health Department announced it would immediately condemn the building for health code violations.
The order means that Hazel Walker, who is blind, her son George Walker, who suffers from sleeping sickness, and Walter Yancey, a victim of throat cancer, must move from the rooming house at 411 N. Fayette St. by Jan. 7, according to a city official.
The three people attracted widespread attention last October when they filed suit in Alexandria General District Court, seeking to prevent the Mount Jezreel Baptist Church, which owns the building, from evicting them.
However, those efforts apparently were made useless by the city's condemnation order. Patricia Ryan Yohay, a court-appointed attorney for the tenants, said yesterday she will continue trying to keep them in their home.
The church has not charged the tenants rent since it asked them to leave last July, according to a church spokesman. The building will either be renovated or sold, he said.
Rob Pritchett of the City Health Department said violations found there included rodents in the building, brokenwindows, and trash in the yard.