Spencer Solves It: Better living conditions for man with mental illness

HOUSTON – The tragedy of mental illness and not being able to control your own mind takes its toll.

It's something 43-year-old Schocka Williams has had for almost 15 years.

“He has lost interest in everything that he does. The drawing, the fishing, socializing with family members, he just lost interest in all of it. He became completely isolated,” Williams' mother, Alice Williams, said.

To make matters worse, Schocka Williams has been living in a one-bedroom apartment in almost unlivable conditions.

It's a place with soiled, stained, stinking, burned and moldy carpeting and next to no furniture: nothing but a folding chair, a TV set and a mattress lying on that horrible carpeting.

“He has nothing, not even a table to eat at,” Alice Williams said.

Living on just $700 a month in Social Security disability payments, Schocka Williams can barely afford to pay his monthly rent of $600.

After paying for food and utilities, there was almost nothing left to ever buy furniture or anything else.

“My son should not have to live this way,” Alice Williams said.

She wrote to Spencer Solves It out of sheer desperation.

“Please help my son. He is trapped in that apartment 24/7. That is where he is 100% of the time and it’s terrible,” Alice Williams said.

Right away, we reached out to two big Houston-area companies that specialize in transforming people’s homes, Katy Furniture and Carpet Giant.

With the tremendous help of Carpet Giant, we begin by ripping out all of that filthy, stinking carpeting in Schocka Williams’ apartment and instead installed luxury vinyl plank flooring.

It’s a rich-looking product that looks just like real hardwood flooring, but it’s waterproof, antimicrobial and easy to care for.

The people at Carpet Giant were thrilled to donate this $2,000 product absolutely free to help Williams.

“It’s just heartbreaking to know how important a home is to anyone and the environment you live in, and to know that Schocka was stuck in this depressing place every day for years,” said Meredith Wosenitz, of Carpet Giant.

The next step was to get all new furniture from the generous people at Katy Furniture.

Then, the Katy Furniture crew and KPRC2's Bill Spencer began assembling and setting up an entire, matching collection of brand-new, beautiful furniture, including a matching sofa and loveseat, end tables, lamps, a coffee table, a full dining room set with four chairs, a dresser and mirror for the bedroom, a nightstand and the most important item of all, a brand-new mattress, box spring and new bed, so Williams can finally get a good night’s sleep.

For Williams, who spends almost all of his time inside that apartment, it's a life-changing difference.

“Thank you, Bill Spencer. I can’t begin to tell you, we can’t begin to tell you how thankful we are. You are a God-saver, you are,” Alice Williams said.