People living in Mesa complex banned from donating plasma

Posted at 10:50 PM, Aug 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-15 08:54:01-04

"We are good people, we're out there trying to get a job, and we’re trying to take care of our family," said a tearful Joan Carbajal.

As Carbajal peers over her balcony, she sees a bright future.  

"I have a home, I was happy, I was away from my abuser, I was able to start a new life," said Carbajal.

Carbajal escaped a violent relationship two years ago. She says she found that new life at La Masita Apartments off Main Street in Mesa. 

The $18.5 million apartment complex assists adults transitioning from homelessness.

"Being a single mother, most of us women here are single mothers with one or two children, it’s hard, we have to buy diapers, we pay for the city bus to get to and from work," said Carbajal.

To make ends meet, Carbajal visited CSL Plasma on Monday but was turned away based on where she lived.

"He told me we're not able to donate plasma if we live at La Masita Apartments," said Carbajal.

She says the manager told her it was listed as a motel for transients and considered a bio-hazard. A record search found the hotel was converted into the low-income housing in 2014.

"It used to be hotels back here and they knocked them down and this is what they became," said Carbajal with a prideful smile.

ABC15 visited CSL Plasma in Tempe to find out why the apartments were still listed as a motel. No one would speak to ABC15 on camera, but did say only people with permanent addresses could donate, excluding those who live in shelters or motels. 

Carbajal says she wants the apartments removed from the list of banned addresses so no one else has to feel the way she did.

"Give me a second chance, come look at my home, we don't have needles laying around like you think we do, if you think we're transients, we're doing better now," said Carbajal.

CSL told ABC15 their corporate office will provide more information on Tuesday regarding the complex's status. ABC15 has also reached out to a national database that provides businesses like CSL with a list of banned addresses; they were not available for comment on Monday, but did say they would provide more information on Tuesday.

Updates are expected on this story; stay with ABC15 for more.