A dispute with his landlord has forced one man out of his decade-long home and onto the street with nowhere to bring his items and no safe place for his cats. Neighbors called WREG after concerns about the man’s safety and future well-being were brought up within the community.
Outside of his home, his furniture was sprawled across the lawn. He hopes to sell the items before he has to leave his apartment. The local shelter (The Memphis Animal Shelter) came by and helped take some of the cats off his hands while he dealt with his current situation.
Titus Blade Steele, 69, explained that a dispute with the landlord put him into this situation.
“It was just frustrating. He took me to court,” he explained further.
He explained that a disagreement with the landlord pushed him into refusing to pay rent. Some neighbors also disliked his cats, and were worried that his home was turning into a ‘cat haven.’
Steele showed WREG the incredible life he lived. Reporters found documents in a portfolio, outlining his background.
They found newspaper clippings outlining everything from the mysterious murder of his brother to his work as an artist and volunteer. Through these articles, his legacy shines through.
Steele’s former classmates from Memphis Technical School caught wind of the situation, and they remembered his story. He was one the first African American students to attend that school, and his classmates remembered him being a “pioneer in the school system.”
“You kind of get goosebumps. It’s like looking at something for the first time when you haven’t seen them in awhile.”
Through everything, he notes, his furry friends were there for him.
“I love cats. I think cats are wonderful,” he continues to elaborate.
At the time of his eviction, he had more than twenty cats in his possession. The local shelter took them all to find them a new home.
“That breaks my heart,” he tells WREG.
While neighbors have followed up with him, it wasn’t until a month later that WREG was able to find his whereabouts. He had moved in with his sister. Furthermore, students at the high school he attended has donated over $1000 dollars to help the man get back on his feet.
“It’s generous and I feel like I could cry,” Steele told WREG.
He hopes to start a cat adoption center one day; his Facebook page is here.
While life can truly set us back sometimes, we are glad he’s safe, and we hope he can live with some new furry friends soon.
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