Time running out for residents of troubled mobile home park
It's a day many of these people have expected for some time. The Loyalton Mobile Home Park, long neglected then abandoned by its owner, has a history of code violations, squatters and sewer problems.
Nearly two years ago its state permit was suspended. No rent has been collected since then. No sewer and water fees paid.
The county has been unable to sell it for back taxes and it's now in the hands of a court-appointed receiver who says it's beyond saving and unsafe, and gave residents ten days to leave. They went to court and got ten days more. Time is up November 13, 2017.
They may have seen it coming, but that's not much time for people of minimal means to pick up and leave homes many have had for decades.
Two weeks ago, the receiver moved in, hauled off unregistered vehicles and reduced a number of homes, those they said were illegally occupied, to rubble.
Lisa Melton says she was staying with a friend elsewhere in the park when it happened.
"Those were two homes they destroyed," she says pointing to a pile of rubbish. "One of them was mine with all my stuff that was in it."
Next week her friend's home will suffer the same fate, as will all that are left. Some say they own these homes, but there's scant time to move them or anything else.
Some were packing up Friday, hauling them off to storage elsewhere while they look for permanent lodgings. Finding space for their belongings is proving easier than finding new homes.
Mike Perry has been looking.
"There's no place here in town for people to go if they need a place to stay."
Some will be moving in temporarily with relatives or friends. Others frankly don't know where they will go.
"I'll be on the street," says Lisa Melton. "We have no way of doing anything. We can't move because we don't have a vehicle. We have no place to put it. I don't know what we're going to do."
They are facing this without any assistance from the county or the state. The receiver has promised a $3,000 relocation benefit once they leave, but until then they are on their own.
Local churches took hot lunches to the residents Friday and a high school leadership class showed up to help feed and relocate pets, though no one yet has a solution for a pot-bellied pig.
Those gestures were appreciated, but won't solve the dilemma most are facing. The hard deadline is Monday at 6 o'clock. All these people should be out by then, but where they will go and what the future may hold for them are questions which today have no answers.