KPRC 2′s Bill Spencer launched the Spencer Solves It project five years ago. The mission -- help viewers solve the problems that have been plaguing them for years.
During this particular calendar year, Spencer and his team (which he affectionately refers to as “Bill’s brigade”) partnered with several generous Houston area businesses to affect meaningful change in the community, to lend a helping hand to the Houstonians who couldn’t find help elsewhere -- like a former volunteer firefighter who lost his leg to flesh-eating bacteria, a Navy veteran left without a wheelchair after major surgery, and a retired DPS officer living under a Harvey-damaged roof on the brink of collapse.
Scroll below for these and other Spencer Solves It stories. (A not-so-spoiler spoiler: They all have a happy ending.)
A veteran was left without a wheelchair after major surgery. Camron Meredith is a former, rough and tough, chief petty officer, who served 20 years in the U.S. Navy. Camron served in Afghanistan, Iraq and throughout the middle east aboard the USS Shiloh.
Following an ankle replacement, Meredith found himself couch-bound and unable to leave his apartment. The Veteran’s Administration told Meredith he’d be provided with a wheelchair within a week of his surgery -- The chair never came.
After waiting for weeks, Meredith’s wife Zaina wrote to every television station in Houston asking for assistance getting her husband a wheelchair. She said Bill Spencer was the only one who responded to her plea. Within 12 hours, Spencer located a company willing to lend Camron a power wheelchair.
Tom Luc and Rey Manzano of Triple M Mobility were overjoyed to help a local veteran.
“The system has failed Mr. Camron, so we feel we should step up and do the right thing for him”, Tom Luc said.
Spencer Solves It called to clean up mountains of trash, dangerous debris from Acres Homes neighborhood
In the historic Acres Homes neighborhood in Houston, a monumental mess had been growing for years. The neighborhood has served as an illegal dumping zone.
Calls to the City of Houston’s complaint line from neighbors up and down this street did nothing to change the problem.
No one does anything. We are told your complaint has been filed and we will send someone out to take care of it and then there is nothing. Just nothing happens, and nothing has happened, and that is why this problem is so big now”, Kerrie said.
With nowhere else to turn, desperate residents turned to the Spencer Solves It team for help.
Hurricane Harvey unleased its fury in August of 2017 but many people are still suffering from its devastation -- including Charles Allen, a retired DPS undercover narcotics officer whose home suffered serious damage in the storm. Several trees fell on the Bleiberville home, punching several massive in it. Allen couldn’t afford the repair costs -- an estimated $10,000. For three years, Allen and his family lived in fear the roof could collapse in on them. Finally, a family relative called the Spencer Solves It team, who installed a new roof on the family’s home
“This rotten roof could have fallen in and crushed us, especially during that severe winter storm we had a few weeks ago,” Allen’s wife Staci said. “You saved us from that.”
Spencer Solves It team helps former volunteer firefighter walk again after he lost leg due to flesh-eating bacteria
Brian Shirley is a former volunteer firefighter who helped others for three decades. In July 2021, Shirley found himself in need. In February, during the state’s historic freeze, while his home was flooded, Shirley lost his right leg to a severe infection. Over the preceding months, he lost his house, his car, his job, and tragically, his health insurance. Suddenly, he had no way to pay for the one thing he needed most, a prosthetic leg that would allow him to walk again.
“It’s just been very, very, heartbreaking to me that I can’t be out there helping people because my whole life, for 30 years, I was out there helping people, saving people, and I loved it,” said Shirley.
With assistance from several generous Houstonians, the Spencer Solves It team furnished Shirley’s apartment and found him a state-of-the-art prosthetic leg.
“Right now, I’m just feeling so grateful to everyone. It’s been such a difficult journey, not just for me, but for my family,” Shirley said.
In September, Bill Spencer and the Spencer Solves It team received a request for from a veteran who needed over $10,000 in dental work -- an astronomical fee he simply could not afford.
“It’s been hell. I just haven’t been able to smile like I want to. I am afraid to open my mouth because of what has happened inside”, said Ray Malveaux.
The Spencer Solves It team partnered with Dr. Terri Alani to get Malveaux back his smile.
Houston man who lost his fingers, toes due to an infection, receives set of working mechanical fingers
Billy Darrond Delaney lost his fingers to sepsis in 2017. Though he was fitted for a set of mechanical fingers, the prosthetics didn’t work well.
“The fingers they promised me did not work at all. When I tried to grab something, they would actually just fold back. I could not pick up anything. I could not grip anything. Worthless,” Billy said.
Desperate for help, Delaney contacted the Spencer Solves It team. With assistance from the dedicated prosthetics professionals at Unlimited Prosthetics Inc., Delaney received a a state-of-the-art set of working mechanical fingers.
If you need help with a problem you can’t solve by yourself, contact the Spencer Solves It team at 713-223-TIPS (8477) or at email@example.com.