Suicides, looters and losses: Final hours for residents to clear out Penticton mobile home park - InfoNews

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Suicides, looters and losses: Final hours for residents to clear out Penticton mobile home park

A few Delta Mobile Home Park residents could be seen in the park this morning, Oct. 1, 2018, in an 11th hour effort to clean up their possessions prior to the eviction deadline of midnight tonight.
October 01, 2018 - 7:00 PM

PENTICTON - It’s eviction day at Delta Mobile Home park, and the former neighbourhood has the look of residents beating a hasty retreat.

Outbuildings lie scattered among the lots, many with driveways and sidewalks leading nowhere, as the luckier ones who could move their homes have already done so.

Several occupants, not so lucky, have left just about everything they own behind. The residents were handed an eviction notice on May 3, effective at midnight tonight.

Modular home parks on reserve land, as Delta Mobile Home park is, are not protected by recent legislation that provides some property compensation for residents forced out of a modular home park by eviction.

The park looks a bit like a bomb hit it, with the infrastructure that once surrounded the park’s modular homes and trailers - decking, sheds, patios and overhangs- now lying helter skelter, torn off the buildings with no great care in a hasty effort to move out.

Former residents Stewart English and Diane Reddick are among the scattered few left, picking up what remaining pieces they can before tonight’s midnight deadline looms.

“They aren’t giving us any extra time to move anything. I was warned today to get everything out by midnight. After that, it’s up for grabs,” Reddick says.

She has already lost thousands, she figures, in lost improvements to the property and decking around her home. She has a fairly new shed she would like to keep, but has nowhere to put it - and time is running out.

“The shed cost me a couple of thousand. It depends on whether I can get it moved, if I can keep it,” she says, adding she was fortunate enough to have a friend who owns a storage yard where she was able to put her fifth wheel.

“It’s horrible, it’s treacherous, to toss us out on the street, basically. They don’t care where we go or how we get there,” Reddick says.

She says Penticton social agencies such as South Okanagan Women in Need Society, The Brain Injury Society and mental health reps have made visits to the park over the past few months, offering moral support, but no one has offered any assistance to move the residents, or relocate them.

Reddick, who has been looking for a new place to live "right up to the last minute," says she will be couch surfing until she can find a new home for herself.

“It’s just overwhelming,” says Bonnie Smith, a friend of Reddick’s who was fortunate enough to have moved out of the park a year ago.

She was helping Reddick guard the remainder of her possessions from looters already cruising the neighbourhood.

“There’s looters just constantly right now. It’s just overwhelming. I would say there are probably 10 people who haven’t left yet because they have nowhere to go. We’ve had two suicides since the eviction notice was given. It’s not only the mental and physical impacts of having to move, it’s the labour and work that was put into each place is now gone,” Smith says. “It’s really harsh.”

Stewart English says he’s lived at the park for 26 years and now has to “walk away from my home.”

“It’s financially killed us all. We’re losing our possessions and we can’t find a place to rent,” he says, adding each resident’s tale is “one devastating, sad story after another.”

“Somebody has to start doing something. People have to be protected. I’ve worked hard all my life, paid my taxes, then I turn around and get this at the end?” he says.

A phone call to landowner Fred Kruger by iNFOnews.ca was not returned by deadline.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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