VERONA (KDKA) — A family of five was found living in a pair of storage units in Verona with no electricity, no toilet and no running water.
At the storage unit complex, along one wall of units, you see the first signs that folks were doing more than just storing family junk. There were a number cigarette butts on the ground surrounding two side-by-side units.
Working off of a Get Marty tip, KDKA’s Marty Griffin found the Ashbaugh family living in two storage units. They had been living there for a while.
Jacquelyn Ashbaugh said it’s been two months since her husband and three kids moved into the storage unit.
In the storage unit, you can see the mattress where the five members of the Ashbaugh family, including three children, sleep every night with the steel doors closed. No electricity and no plumbing. It’s illegal and it’s dangerous. The only light is from a cell phone.
Jacquelyn asked KDKA for help, and KDKA’s Marty Griffin called the Allegheny County Department of Human Services. Sources tell KDKA they made contact with the family, and the family is now in emergency housing.
“There’s definitely hope and services available to them,” Abigail Horn, with the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, said.
Horn is not allowed to talk about the case, but she promises folks who ask get help.
“There’s definitely help available,” she said. “Individuals and families are all dealing with the challenges that life brings them. Families, households do find themselves in difficult situations.”
The Ashbaugh family had some food in the unit – cold cereal. For a bathroom, they climbed through the fence of the storage units and went to a nearby McDonald’s, where they also ate.
The storage unit operator told KDKA’s Marty Griffin he didn’t know they lived there, didn’t know they slept there and says he knows it’s illegal.
The Allegheny County Department of Human Services says to call 1-866-730-2368 for anyone who needs this type of help.