Disabled veteran complains about no access to restrooms at post office

Disabled veteran complains about no access to restrooms at post office

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's frustrating to have a problem for more than a year and to feel as though your complaints are being ignored.  That's what happened to a local, disabled veteran who's been struggling to get an answer to a question for a year.:

The old federal building at 921 Moss Street dates back to 1958.  And it isn't what it used to be..  the exterior could use a good cleaning. And while the post office is on the first floor, the IRS and federal courts, formerly on second floor, are long gone.

Still, Vietnam era veteran John Lormand, who uses a wheelchair complained the elevator hasn't worked in over a year--which means he can't access the restrooms upstairs.

"The question was, why is the elevator at the federal building, 921 Moss, out of order? This is a federal building and it's out of federal standards of the America Disabilities Act. If it would be any other entity they would be fined, and have the problem fixed," said Lormand.

Yet, it turns out, the elevator does work but is locked, as is the door to upstairs. Workers say the lone employee who works upstairs was accosted and they've discovered homeless people sleeping there - so they now lock it up. Lormand agrees employees need to be safe, but wonders if a security guard could solve the problem.

"If they had security in this building, that would stop it," said Lormand. "They could have the elevator and the stairwell operational.  That would be the right thing to do. I usually have to roll myself downtown somewhere  to a restaurant or a business that has a restroom," he said.

At the very least, Lormand would like to see signs communicating that there are no longer public restrooms, to alleviate frustration for those who don't know.

A spokesperson for the postal service in Dallas says she's researching to determine who's in charge of the building and what if any action is appropriate.

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