Ollie Russell, a 71-year-old native of Northwest Florida, will soon be on the streets while waiting for a kidney transplant.

CRESTVIEW — When Ollie Russell moved away from Northwest Florida last year, she had no idea she’d be back so quickly.


Earlier this year while living in Tallahassee, 71-year-old Russell found out her kidneys were failing. She was then placed on dialysis and put on a transplant waiting list.


With the diagnosis, Russell found herself suddenly needing to move to be near the Sacred Heart Transplant Center in Pensacola. Although she is a native of the Northwest Florida area, she has no place to call home.


"I had to sell all of my property just to make the move back here," Russell said. "I didn’t have time to apply for housing beforehand because it was a sudden move. I tried to find a place but you have to be put on a waiting list."


Currently, Russell is staying with a friend but due to apartment complex rules, Russell is only able to stay for two weeks. Russell has one more week at her friend’s home before she will find herself living on the streets.


According to Russell, it is unknown how long getting a kidney transplant could take but she does not want to wait for the surgery while homeless.


"I’ve never been homeless and I don’t even want to think about it," Russell said as she began to cry. "I’ve been living on a fixed income and have no money. My wish is just to be able to have a home to put a Christmas tree up in. It doesn’t matter where. It could be in Navarre or it could be right here in Crestview."


Once the transplant occurs, Russell said she will stay in the area and make the most of the rest of her life.


"I love this place," Russell said. "I don’t want to miss out on anything before I leave this world."